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 at her trial next week, her lawyer told the Telegraph on Friday.
Princess Hassa bint Salman, 43, sister of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, is due to stand trial in absentia in the French capital on July 9 on charges of theft of a mobile phone and 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’ feet" after she told her “bodyguard" to "kill" him because he had filmed the royal in her father’s flat at 80 avenue Foch, one of Paris’ plushest streets in the 16ème arrondissement.
"You must kill him, this dog. He doesn’t deserve to live," he reportedly told police during the alleged September 2016 incident, insisting he only took pictures to be able to replace objects where he removed them.
The decorator reportedly said her assistant then punched him on the side of the head, bound his hands together, told him to “kiss the feet” of the princess and place a gun at the back of his head when he refused during a four-hour ordeal.
He was eventually told never to return to the 16ème arrondissement, the reports added.
His lawyer has declined to speak to the press. However, speaking about the case for the first time, the princess’s French lawyer, Emmanuel Moyne, said she “vigorously contests the accusations against her and never made such comments” and said she 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 departed France that day and has not left Saudi Arabia since an international warrant for her arrest was issued against her three years ago – effectively placing her under “house arrest”, said her aides.
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.
Princess Hussa holds a Master of Arts degree in diplomatic studies from the University of Westminster and a master of arts in human rights from the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London. Her ambitions of passing a Ph.D. in the UK have been thwarted by the warrant, said aides.