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Saudi Princess Hassa guilty of ordering guard to beat up Paris plumber



Mohammed bin Salman’s sister, Princess Hassa bint Salman, was found guilty of ordering her bodyguard to beat up and humiliate a craftsman by a French court Thursday.

Plumber Ashraf Eid accused Princess Hassa’s bodyguard Rani Saidi of handcuffing him, punching him in the head, and making him kiss the princess’ feet, all on her orders, Reuters reported, citing the indictment.

The princess had accused Eid of taking a video of her on his phone while he worked at an apartment owned by her father King Salman of Saudi Arabia on Paris’ prestigious Avenue Foch, close to the Arc de Triomphe, in September 2016.

On Thursday, a court gave Princess Hassa a 10-month suspended sentence and told her to pay €10,000 ($11,093), CNN reported.

Saidi was given an eight-month suspended sentence and ordered to pay €5,000 ($5,547.)

Emmanuel Moyne, attorney for Princess Hassa, arrives at a courthouse in Paris, France, July 9, 2019.

According to the indictment, Eid had taken a photo of a mirror in the apartment “for reference” while Princess Hassa was reflected in the glass.

The princess, King Salman’s only daughter, accused Eid of filming her and ordered Saidi to teach him a lesson.

Read more: Inside Saudi Arabia’s Instagram influence operation, where bloggers get lavish vacations to help clean up the country’s bloody reputation

During a hearing in July, Saidi said he heard Princess Hassa call for help, so he “seized and overpowered him, I didn’t know what he was after,” the BBC reported.

Filming a princess without permission is a crime in Saudi Arabia.

According to Eid, the princess then remarked: “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.”

Princess Hassa is the sister of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Leon Neal/Getty Images

Eid said he was held at gunpoint by Saidi, and given two choices: “Kiss the princess’s feet or risk further assault.”

Read more: A US woman’s divorce battle in Saudi Arabia shows the nightmare foreign women can face in its labyrinthine legal system

Emmanuel Moyne, an attorney for Princess Hassa, told CNN that she plans to appeal the ruling.

“It is with great incredulity and indignation that we received … this judgment,” he said.

Princess Hassa consistently denied the allegations, and did not attend court for the verdict.

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