Last week, a Paris court found Princess Hassa bint Salman Al Saud guilty of ordering her bodyguard to beat up a French worker in 2016. The Princess was not present at court, where she was found guilty of violence and complicity to hold someone against their will. Princess Hassa was handed a ten-month suspended sentence and fined €10,000. An international arrest warrant was issued for her in 2017.
The Princess is the only daughter of King Salman and is the sister of the de facto leader of the kingdom, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud. According to prosecutors, the worker was accused by the Princess of trying to take a picture of her in her lavish Paris apartment.
She then ordered her bodyguard, Rani Saida, to confiscate the phone and beat up the worker, alleging the pictures could be used against her family. Saida was handed an eight-month suspended sentence by the court and ordered to pay €5,000.
The French-Egyptian worker, Ashraf Eid, described how he was working in Princess Hassa’s bathroom when he took out his phone and started photographing pieces of furniture to aid in his work. The Princess was watching him and ordered her bodyguard to take Eid’s phone. The bodyguard then hit him, tied up his wrists, and put a gun to his head, ordering Eid to kiss her feet.
During the attack, Eid alleges she said: “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.”
Eid contacted police after the incident, and Princess Hassa was questioned for several hours before being let go, leaving Paris three days later. One of her lawyers has strenuously denied the charges, saying that he will appeal the court’s decision and prove his client’s innocence.
Princess Hassa is not the first Saudi royal to run afoul of Parisian authorities; in May 2012, Princess Maha bint Mohammed bin Ahmad al-Sudairi was accused of trying to leave the famed Shangri-La Hotel without paying a bill worth over €6 million. Princess Maha has since supposedly been banned from leaving her palace in Saudi Arabia.