Hassa bint Salman gets suspended sentence of 10 months for ordering bodyguard to beat up Ashraf Eid
The daughter of the king of Saudi Arabia was complicit in beating up and briefly kidnapping a workman in her luxury flat Paris, a French court ruled on Thursday, giving her a 10-month suspended prison sentence.
Speaking after the verdict, Emmanuel Moyne, the French lawyer for Hassa bint Salman, said most of the declarations made by workman, Ashraf Eid, were false and that an appeal would be lodged.
According to the initial indictment, Eid told police that the princesss bodyguard, Rani Saidi, had bound his hands, punched, kicked him and forced him to kiss her feet after she accused him of filming her on his cell phone.
Eid told investigators his phone was forcibly taken from him and that as he was being beaten, Hassa treated him like a dog, telling him youll see how you speak to a princess, how you speak to the royal family.
Moyne disputed the courts conclusions. There is nothing in the case to establish that even the slightest crime was committed. This sentence is backed by no concrete proof but rests solely on the unfounded, even mendacious, allegations made by the plaintiff who didnt even turn up himself to the trial to support them, he said.
The 43-year-old princess, sister to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was not in court for the verdict but through her lawyers, has consistently denied any wrongdoing.
Lisa Janaszewicz, another member of the princesss legal team, said her client was the real victim. By filming her without her knowing, Mr Eid broke her right to privacy. And she has suffered two years of legal proceedings as well as treatment by the media that has unfairly changed how she is seen.
It was not immediately clear whether the ruling would complicate relations between Paris and Riyadh.
France has nurtured close ties with Saudi Arabia but those ties have been tested by Emmanuel Macrons determination to salvage Irans nuclear accord, which Saudi Arabia, alongside the US, has adamantly opposed.
The Saudi government communications office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Saudi royalty has faced legal problems in France before. In 2013 a French court ordered that the French assets of the Saudi princess Maha al-Sudairi, wife of the former interior minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz, be seized over unpaid bills at a luxury hotel totalling almost 6m (5.37m).
Reuters contributed to this report