Saudi Arabian Princess Hassa bint Salman goes on trial in absentia on charges of conspiring to kidnap and beat an Egyptian-born artisan who was carrying out repair work at her father’s luxury residence in Paris in 2016.
Hassa bint Salman, the sister of Mohammed bin Salman, the heir to the Saudi throne, is accused of conspiring to get her bodyguard to beat workman Ashraf Eid, who she said took a photograph of the room he was decorating and planned to sell it.
According to the indictment, Eid then told police the bodyguard tied his hands, punched and kicked him, and forced him to kiss Hassa’s feet. Eid said that, as he was being beaten, Hassa scorned him and said, “You’ll see how you speak to a princess; how you speak to the royal family.”
In an account given to the Le Point news magazine in France, the worker claimed that the 43-year-old woman shouted “Kill him, the dog, he doesn’t deserve to live.”
On October 1, 2016, the bodyguard was placed under formal investigation on suspicion of armed violence and holding a person against his will and was denied bail.
An international arrest warrant was also issued for Hassa in November 2017, and the hearing was expected to go ahead in her absence. Her trial was expected to begin on Tuesday.
The Saudi royal family has faced legal problems in France before.
In 2013, a court in France ordered the French assets of Saudi Princess Maha al-Sudairi, wife of former Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz, to be seized over unpaid bills at a luxury hotel totaling almost 6.7 million dollars.