Sunday 18 August 2019

Saudi princess says claim worker was beaten and told to kiss her feet is 'false'

Crown prince Mohammad bin Salman. Photo: Reuters
Crown prince Mohammad bin Salman. Photo: Reuters

Henry Samuel

The king of Saudi Arabia's daughter is the victim of "false accusations" that she ordered staff to beat up a workman because he filmed her in her Paris flat, her lawyer said yesterday.

Princess Hassa bint Salman, the sister of crown prince Mohammad bin Salman, is due to stand trial in absentia in the French capital next Tuesday on charges of theft of a mobile phone, complicity to violence with a weapon and complicity to sequestration.

According to French reports, Ashraf Eid, a French plumber of Egyptian origin, told police he was forced to "kiss the princess's feet" after she told her "bodyguard" to "kill" him because he had filmed her in her father's flat at 80 Avenue Foch, one of Paris' plushest streets in the 16th arrondissement.

"You must kill him, this dog. He doesn't deserve to live," Mr Eid reportedly told police she had said during the alleged incident in September 2016, insisting he took pictures to be able to replace objects where he removed them. He reportedly said her assistant then punched him on the side of the head, bound his hands, told him to "kiss the feet" of the princess and placed a gun at the back of his head.

He was eventually told never to return to the 16th arrondissement, the reports added. His lawyer has declined to speak to the press. But speaking about the case for the first time, Emmanuel Moyne, the lawyer for the princess, said she "vigorously contests" the accusations, "never made such comments", and was "devastated" at being "thrown to the dogs by the press".

Police detained the princess after the legal complaint was filed but she was released without being questioned two-and-a-half hours later. She left France the same day and has not left Saudi Arabia since an international warrant for her arrest was issued three years ago.

Her entourage depicted her as the victim of a judge and police out to boost their reputation by bringing the London-educated royal to court at all costs.

© Daily Telegraph, London

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