Saudi crown prince's sister found complicit, but won't serve time, in workman's kidnap, assault

Saudi crown prince's sister found complicit, but won't serve time, in workman's kidnap, assault
2 min read
12 September, 2019
Princess Hassa bint Salman has been slapped with a 10-month suspended sentence over the kidnapping and beating of a workman in France.
Princess Hassa is a sister of Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman [Getty]

A French court on Thursday found the daughter of Saudi Arabia's King Salman complicit in violence with the threat of a weapon and complicit in kidnapping, and sentenced her to a 10 month suspended prison sentence.

In their indictment, prosecutors had accused Princess Hassa bint Salman of ordering a bodyguard to beat up a workman in her luxury flat in Paris.

Forty-two-year-old Princess Hassa was accused of instructing her bodyguard Rani Saidi to beat up Ashraf Eid, a plumber, after he was seen taking pictures inside her home in September 2016.

The plumber had been called to the luxury home to carry out repairs.

Eid was working on the seventh floor of the luxury apartment block owned by the Saudi royals on Avenue Foch, a favourite destination of foreign millionaires in Paris.

He was called to the fifth floor to repair a damaged wash basin.

He took pictures of the bathroom which he told investigators he needed to carry out his work.

Eid claimed that the princess flew into a rage after he caught her reflection in a mirror on camera. She called in her bodyguard, who allegedly beat him.

Eid claimed he was also tied up and ordered to kiss the feet of the princess, who is lionised in the Saudi state-run media for her charity work and women's rights campaigning.

The plumber said 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."

Princess Hassa, who did not attend the trial in Paris, is a sister of Saudi Arabia's powerful de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known widely by his initials "MbS".

Prince Mohammed's path to power has itself been embroiled in controversy, most notably because of the arrests of powerful rivals and the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.