France's news in English

Editions:  Europe · Austria · Denmark · France · Germany · Italy · Norway · Spain · Sweden · Switzerland

Saudi princess to go on trial in Paris after telling bodyguard 'to beat up decorator'

Share this article

Saudi princess to go on trial in Paris after telling bodyguard 'to beat up decorator'
The decorator alleges the princess ordered her bodyguard to beat him up. Photo: AFP
08:09 CEST+02:00
The sister of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is to be put on trial in Paris next month for allegedly ordering her bodyguard to beat up a workman in the French capital, a legal source told AFP on Wednesday.
The case against Princess Hassa bint Salman stems from an alleged assault in her apartment on the ultra-expensive Avenue Foch in west Paris in September 
2016.
   
The trial is due to be judged on July 9, the source said. 
   
The alleged victim has said he was hired to carry out refurbishment work at Princess Hassa's apartment and that she became angry after he took a photograph, accusing him of wanting to sell it to the media.
   
He alleges the princess, said to be in her 40s, then ordered the bodyguard to beat him up.
 
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Photo: BANDAR AL-JALOUD / Saudi Royal Palace / AFP   
 
Le Point magazine reported that the princess shouted: "Kill him, the dog, he doesn't deserve to live".
   
The workman says he was punched in the face, his hands were tied and he was forced to kiss the princess's feet during an hours-long ordeal.
   
His tools were confiscated before he was allowed to leave.
 
AFP reported at the time of the incident that his injuries were so severe that he was ordered off work for eight days.
 
Bodyguard charged
 
The bodyguard was charged on October 1, 2016 with armed violence, theft, issuing death threats and holding someone against their will.
   
Princess Hassa is likely to be absent from the trial as she has not been apprehended under an international arrest warrant issued in 2017.
   
Lionised in the Saudi media for her charity work and women's rights campaigning, Princess Hassa is sister to Prince Mohammed, one of the most powerful leaders in the Middle East.
   
Known by his initials MBS, 32-year-old Prince Mohammed has shaken up Saudi Arabia and the wider Middle East since he was elevated to crown prince in 2017.
   
Widely regarded as de facto leader under his 82-year-old father King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Prince Mohammed has presented himself as a champion of moderate Islam.
   
But the crown prince has faced a diplomatic crisis since the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a fierce critic, at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October last year.
   
The Saudis, after initially denying they knew anything of Khashoggi's disappearance, finally acknowledged that a team killed him inside the consulate, but described it as a rogue operation that did not involve the crown prince.
   
Princess Hassa's legal case is not the first time Saudi royalty have had a brush with the law in France.
   
In 2013 French authorities ordered assets to be seized from Saudi princess Maha al-Sudairi, wife of the then interior minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz, over an unpaid luxury hotel tab of nearly six million euros ($6.8 million).
 
Get notified about breaking news on The Local

Share this article

The Local is not responsible for content posted by users.
FrancoLion - 13 Jun 2019 19:16
Absolute power corrupts absolutely. And, absolute wealth makes people absolutely and unbelievably arrogant AND stupid. Combine all that with "I am always right" and "My God Can Beat Up Your God" and you have
. . . psychopathic Saudi Arabia.
Become a Member or sign-in to leave a comment.

From our sponsors

VIDEO: Three surprising facts that will make you want to visit Malta

Game of Thrones has ended but it lives on in Malta! Find out how and learn two more unexpected facts about this little archipelago in the middle of the Med.