On Thursday, a French court will give its final decision whether Princess Hassa, the sister of the Saudi crown prince, was guilty in the alleged beating of a French workman who went to her luxurious Paris apartment for some repairing work.
The 42-year-old Hassa bint Salman, the daughter of King Salman was accused of beating Ashraf Eid, a plumber by her bodyguard Rani Saidi. She claimed that the worker allegedly took pictures inside her home in September 2016 and that the plumber wanted to sell his photographs.
Prosecutors have demanded the princess to be given a six-month suspended sentence for complicity in an act of intentional violence. Her bodyguard, Saidi is charged with intentional violence, theft, and illegal confinement.
An eight-month suspended sentence and a fine of 5,000 euros ($5,500) each for him and the princess have been demanded by the prosecutors. In his statement, the worker said that he was working on the seventh floor of the luxury apartment block on Avenue Foch when he was called to the fifth floor to repair a damaged washbasin.
He further told the investigators he took pictures of the bathroom as he needed to carry out his work. After this, he claimed that the princess flew into a rage after he caught her reflection in a mirror on camera. She called in her bodyguard and order him to beat him.
Mr. Eid also claimed that he was tied up and ordered to kiss the feet of the princess. She has a huge reputation in the Saudi state-run media for her charity work and women’s rights campaigning.
The plumber claimed he was allowed to leave the apartment only after several hours, during which his phone was destroyed, and that at one point the princess shouted: “Kill him, the dog, he doesn’t deserve to live.”
In December 2017, a warrant was issued for the arrest of the princess. The body accompanied the princess on her travels in Europe and the US. “When I heard the princess cry for help, I came and saw them gripping the phone,” he told the court, referring to the princess and the workman.
“I grabbed him and overpowered him: I did not know his intentions,” he said of Eid, adding that during his 20 years of service for the royal family he had come across other “stories like that”.
“The Arabs want photos and the princess is someone who is very important for them,” he said.