Sun, 09 Aug 2020

Saudi Princess on Trial for Workman's Beating

Voice of America
10 Jul 2019, 08:05 GMT+10

The sister of Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman went on trial Tuesday in Paris over the alleged beating of a workman at her family's apartment.

Princess Hassa bint Salman is accused of ordering her bodyguard to beat an Egyptian workman after he was seen taking a photograph inside the home on Paris' exclusive Avenue Foch in 2016.

According to the indictment, the workman Ashraf Eid told police that he took a picture of the bathroom where he was working so he he could remember where items were placed before he started.

The princess reportedly accused him of taking the photo in order to sell the image of the toney home.

Eid told police the bodyguard bound his hands, punched and kicked him, and forced him to kiss the princess' feet.

The bodyguard was held by police but the princess left France soon after the incident. France issued a warrant for her arrest in December 2017.

The bodyguard told the court Tuesday: "When I heard the princess shouting for help, I got there and saw them grasping the phone with their hands."

"I seized [him] and overpowered him, I didn't know what he was after," he said, according to AFP.

The princess' lawyers have said she is the victim of false accusations. "The princess is a caring, humble, approachable and cultured woman," her lawyer, Emmanuel Moyne, said before the trial began.

The Saudi crown prince was under the media spotlight recently for his alleged involvement in the murder of dissident writer Jamal Khashoggi.

Agnes Callamard, a United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, said in a report released last month that there was "credible evidence" linking the crown prince to the strangulation and dismemberment of Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

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