In his testimony, he gave only the briefest answers.
“I think so,” he responded in a falsetto voice when asked if he had attorneys spread all over the world. “Professional lawyers that I appointed.”In stark contrast to the subdued prince were the defendants: Zaman, a 34-year-old, effervescent beauty, her fine figure packed into smart business outfits, and her husband, 43, who spoke with a Liverpool accent and appeared almost every day in a different bespoke suit and silk pocket foulard.
“Just visit there,” he said to describe his duties at a Hong Kong shipping company, one of the many concerns from which he received a salary. Losing this case would bankrupt them and destroy their reputations.
“There is a lot,” he answered when asked how many companies were in his name. If the jury found for the prince, the attorneys representing him would seize everything they owned.
The defendants claimed that he had used his stolen billions to finance a 10-year orgy of extravagance and deceit, which culminated only when his brother the Sultan of Brunei set out to recover the fortune Jefri had supposedly hidden.For six weeks, starting last November 8, in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, in Manhattan, the two sides in a most unusual trial presented equally outlandish stories.The plaintiff, Prince Jefri Bolkiah, Brunei’s notorious royal playboy, who has probably gone through more cash than any other human being on earth, tried to convince the jury that he was extremely naïve when it came to financial matters.When two British lawyers, Faith Zaman and Thomas Derbyshire, signed on in 2004 to manage the affairs of Prince Jefri Bolkiah, notorious playboy brother of the Sultan of Brunei, they entered a world of orgiastic wealth: 250 companies, 2,000 cars, luxury hotels, planeloads of women and polo ponies, colossal diamonds.Caught in a feud between the prince and the sultan, they ended up in a court battle over million.