Man Claiming to Saudi Royal Held for Murder in London

Scotland Yard questioning man on suspicion of murder after body found in hotel.

LONDON, Feb. 17, 2010— -- London police are questioning a member of the Saudi royal family on suspicion of murder, British media reports.

The suspect under investigation for the homicide has sought diplomatic immunity, but the claim has been rejected, according to published reports.

Police were called to the prestigious Landmark Hotel on Monday after a man's body, showing signs of strangulation, was found in a third floor room.

Paramedics pronounced the 32-year-old man dead at the scene.

"A post mortem examination on 16 February gave cause of death as manual compression of the neck and head injury," the statement from Scotland Yard said.Homicide detectives were granted more time today to question the 33-year-old Saudi man whom The Daily Telegraph describes as "a distant relative believed to be a great nephew of King Abdullah."

Police sources told British papers that the suspect was seeking diplomatic immunity, but as a minor royal he was not eligible. He was arrested on Monday evening a few hours after the body was found by hotel staff and he remains in custody.

London police officers believe they know the identity of the victim whom they confirmed is also from Saudi Arabia, but are awaiting formal identification before they will release his name. They are also in the process of informing his next of kin.

According to the Daily Mail the deceased was a member of the suspect's entourage. The Saudi Embassy refused to comment saying that it was "a matter for the police."

The manager of the Landmark Hotel, Francis Green, issued a statement in which he "confirmed the death of a guest at the hotel" and said "our thoughts are with the relatives of the deceased."