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Late Saudi king's 'secret wife' Janan Harb wins 21-million-euro payout from UK court

Palestinian-born Janan Harb has been awarded millions and two plush apartments after a promise from the late king's son. She claims she secretly married King Fahd in 1968 when he was still a prince.

A British judge on Tuesday ordered a huge financial payout for a woman who claims she was the "secret wife" of the late King Fahd of Saudi Arabia.

Janan Harb was awarded the equivalent of more than 21 million euros ($23 million) plus the deeds to two expensive London flats, thought to be worth 7 million euros each.

High court judge Peter Smith ruled that her claim to have been promised a financial settlement by one of the king's sons was "credible."

Unless the prince decides to challenge the ruling in the higher UK Court of Appeal, he will have to pay up within 28 days.

68-year-old Harb says she was secretly married to Fahd in 1968 when she was 19 but the marriage was opposed by his family as she was a Christian. At the time, he was a prince and the country's interior minister.

She claimed Fahd, who became king in 1982 and died in 2005, had promised to provider for her financially for the rest of her life.

Later King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia

King Fahd, who died in 2005, was married at least four times

Contempt of court

The court heard that Fahd's son Abdul Aziz told her in 2003 that he was prepared to honor his father's promise, offering her 12 million pounds and the deeds to two flats by the River Thames.

Palestinian-born Harb took legal action after claiming she had received neither the money nor the properties.

The court did not rule on whether she and the king had ever married, but on whether the prince had promised her a cash settlement and the luxury London properties.

Harb said she converted to Islam shortly before the wedding and fell pregnant three times in the following three years but had abortions "because of his concern over the outcry" he might have faced.

She said she was banished in 1970. She had two further marriages, which both ended in divorce.

Prince Abdul Aziz was held in contempt of court for refusing to testify in person or be cross examined. But he did deny making the promise to her in written statements. He was ordered to make a 25,000 pound charity donation.

Speaking after the ruling, Harb said: "This has been 12 years of misery for me. I am very happy with British justice."

The prince's lawyer did not immediately return a request for comment.

mm/jm (AP, AFP)