French arrest warrant out for Saudi crown prince’s sister


(File photo) Reuters.

PARIS, March 17: The sister of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is the target of a French arrest warrant for allegedly ordering her bodyguard to beat up a worker at her Paris apartment, legal sources said Thursday.
The warrant against Princess Hassa bint Salman, issued in late December, follows an alleged assault at her apartment on the ultra-expensive Avenue Foch in west Paris in September 2016, sources close to the case told AFP.
The case could complicate Macron’s efforts to build up a good relationship with Prince Mohammed, who is due to visit Paris in the coming weeks.
The workman says he was hired to carry out some refurbishment at Princess Hassa’s apartment and she became angry after he took a photograph of the room where the work was to be done.
He alleges the princess, said to be in her 40s, ordered the bodyguard to beat him, accusing him of taking pictures to sell to the media.
Le Point magazine reported that the princess shouted, ‘Kill him, the dog, he doesn’t deserve to live.”
The workman says he was punched in the face, his hands were tied and he was forced to kiss the princess’s feet during an hours-long ordeal. His tools were confiscated before he was allowed to leave.
AFP reported at the time of the incident that his injuries were so severe that he was ordered off work for eight days.
The bodyguard was charged on October 1, 2016 with armed violence, theft, issuing death threats and holding someone against their will.
The Saudi information ministry did not respond to requests for comment on Thursday.
Awkward timing 
Macron held talks with the upstart Prince Mohammed in Riyadh in November and is keen to develop trade ties with the world’s leading crude oil exporter.
Although dates for his trip to Paris have yet to be announced, he will most likely fly in some time after his visit next week to the United States.
His sister Princess Hassa keeps a relatively low profile and her arrest warrant is not the first time Saudi royalty have had a brush with the law in France.
In 2013 French authorities ordered assets to be seized from Saudi princess Maha al-Sudairi, wife of the then interior minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz, over an unpaid luxury hotel tab of nearly six million euros. – With a story from ThePeninsula/RSP.

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