The sister of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been found guilty of ordering a bodyguard to beat and humiliate a local craftsman who was renovating her luxury Paris apartment three years ago.
Princess Hassa bint Salman Al Saud was handed a 10-month suspended sentence and fined €10,000 ($11,000) by a French court Thursday.
She was sentenced in absentia and found guilty of armed violence and complicity to hold someone against their will. Her bodyguard was handed an eight-month suspended prison sentence and ordered to pay a €5,000 ($5,600) fine.
Ashraf Eid, an Egyptian-born French national, had said the princess’s bodyguard attacked him after she accused him of taking photos and videos of her in September 2016. He alleged the guard hit him, tied up his wrists, put a gun to his head and ordered him to kiss the princess’s feet.
Emmanuel Moyne, a lawyer for Hassa, told CNN: “It is with great incredulity and indignation that we received… this judgment.”
Moyne added that he would appeal the decision and prove that the Princess is “totally innocent of the allegations that have been made against her.”
Eid previously said he was working in a bathroom in the apartment on Paris’ exclusive Avenue Foch – owned by the Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud – and took photographs of the furniture “for reference” when he noticed the princess’s reflection in the mirror.
According to Eid’s account read in court in July, when the princess saw him, she allegedly ordered her bodyguard Rani Saidi to take his phone. Eid claimed Saidi then manhandled him and kicked him in the face.
Eid alleged that the princess then insulted him, saying, “You’re all the same, bastards, dogs. You’ll see how you should speak to a princess, how one should speak to the royal family.”
He said Saidi put a gun to the back of his head and gave him two choices: “Kiss the princess’s feet or risk further assault.”
Eid complained to police once he was released from the apartment. Police questioned the princess for two hours, then let her go. Three days later, she left the country.
An investigative judge tried to contact the princess several times but was unable to reach her, eventually issuing an international arrest warrant for her in 2017.