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Brunei prince allowed B$500,000 a month to support lifestyle.

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, March 17 Kyodo

The Brunei High Court has ruled Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah's youngest brother can spend half a million Brunei dollars monthly to keep up his lifestyle, but the largesse is still far less than he deemed necessary.

Prince Jefri Bolkiah, whose financial assets were frozen last month because he faces civil action for alleged misuse of state funds, had asked the court to allow him to spend B$860,000 ($580,000) a month to support his four wives, 17 natural children and 18 more he has adopted.

The court last month offered the prince only a B$100,000 monthly stipend, but it upped the ante Thursday to B$500,000.

"If he meets such expenditures from his own resources, that is a separate matter, but there is, say the plaintiffs, a risk that his expenditures, if they continue unabated are likely to be made from the plaintiff's funds," Chief Justice Denys Roberts said.

The justice also remarked in his 42-paged judgment on the prince's lavish lifestyle.

It said the prince spent US$2.7 billion on 17 aircraft, five luxury yachts, several motor vehicles and many pieces of jewelry during a 10-year span, citing accounts prepared by accounting firm Arthur Andersen that were annexed to the plaintiff's affidavits.

Brunei is charging Prince Jefri in civil court of inappropriate withdrawal of vast sums from state coffers when he was Finance Minister and Chairman of the Brunei Investment Agency from 1985 to 1998.

He and his son Prince Hakeem and 70 others are subject of a B$17 billion suit brought against him by the state and the BIA, the country's investment agency. The prince denies the allegations.
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Publication:Asian Economic News
Date:Mar 20, 2000
Words:282
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