TEHRAN, May 13, YJC - Eight Emirati princesses, a mother and her seven daughters, are being tried at a court in Belgium for suspected inhumane treatment of servants and human trafficking in a long-running court case of potentially dire consequences for the royalty.
TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) -
The last hearing in the case took place in the Belgian capital of Brussels on Friday.
The prosecution is trying to establish whether Sheikha Hamda Al Nahyan and her daughters had abused their servants, whom they had brought along, while staying at a luxury hotel in the Belgian capital for some months back in 2008.
At the time, Belgian police raided the hotel on a tip from one of the servants, who had managed to run.
The Emirati royals face accusations of "inhumane” treatment because they reportedly subjected some 20 female servants to pander to their desires for long stretches of time, sometimes lasting 24 hours a day, for little or no money. They are also accused of not allowing the maids enough food, forcing them to eat off their leftovers, and not allowing them to sleep on beds.
The trafficking accusations have to do with the royals’ refusal to obtain visas for the servants.
Around 15 plaintiffs are involved in the case. A verdict is unlikely before September.
The royals’ lawyers say that they had had their privacy violated.
The Al Nahyan family is one of the most influential families in the UAE, and one of the richest in the world.
A history of royal Arab misconduct
Royal Arab offspring have in the past been found involved in acts of criminality and indecency on many occasions, including in several high-profile cases.
In October 2015, The Daily Mail reported that, while staying at his Los Angeles mansion, Majed bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, a Saudi Arabian prince, had been accused of having sexual relationship with a male aide, taking cocaine, sexually assaulting a maid, and threatening to kill women who refused his advances.
A month later, Abdel Mohsen Bin Walid Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, another Saudi prince, was arrested with two tonnes of amphetamines in Lebanon’s capital, Beirut, and then charged with drug trafficking.
Other instances have included molestation and road rage.