Saudi Arabia’s controverisal Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, has once again found himself in the limelight because of all the wrong reason. His half-sister Hassa bint Salman, the daughter of King Salman, is alleged to have ordered her bodyguard to beat a local craftsman, for taking a photograph inside her home in September 2016.
Reports say Eid was to carry out plumbing repair works and needed photographs to do the work. According to Al Jazeera, he was tied up by the bodyguard Rani Saidi, and ordered to kiss the feet of the princess who is in her 40s. Eid alleged that Saidi hit him, tied up his wrists, threatened him by putting a gun to his head and ordered him to kiss the princess’s feet. He also says that he was kicked in the face.
Eid lodged a police complaint after he was released from the princess’s apartment. The CNN said the princess was questioned by the police for two hours. “Three days later, she left the country,” it said.
The princess was not present in court Tuesday and has denied all allegations. Her lawyer Emmanuel Moyne told Reuters that she had offered to appear in court via Skype from the Middle East. Moyne also described his client as caring, approachable, cultured and humble.
On the September 2016 incident, Hassa bint Salma Al Saud said that Eid planned to sell the photograph of her apartment, which is located on Avenue Foch in western Paris, a highly sought-after destination for foreign millionaires. The international media says that an investigative judge tried several times to contact the princess but was unable to reach her. Eventually, an international arrest warrant was issued in 2017.
Saidi appeared in court Tuesday and denied the allegations. He said he rushed to the princess’s side when he heard her screaming.
“I have never been violent. I did grab Eid and then I held him because I didn’t know his intentions,” Saidi said. He added that he assumed the workman was planning to distribute the private photos of the princess because every Arab wants to take her picture. “She’s really famous,” he said.
Saidi’s lawyer, Yassine Bouzrou, according to Al Jazeera, questioned the complainant’s version of events. “My client contests that there was any act of violence and any act of kidnapping. It is a word of one against the word of the other,” he said. Bouzrou called for acquittal of his client, saying there were elements in the case that contradict the plaintiff’s version.
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However, the judge replied that no photos of the princess have been published since she was eight years of age. “So how would the people even recognize her?” he asked.