Emirati princesses convicted in Belgium for human trafficking

Eight Emirati princesses were convicted of human trafficking by a Belgian court on Friday and were given suspended jail terms and fines in a case stemming from their treatment of servants at a Brussels luxury hotel nearly 10 years ago, their lawyer said.

The Brussels criminal court handed the eight women from Abu Dhabi’s ruling al-Nahyan family 15-month suspended sentences for human trafficking and degrading treatment, the lawyer, Stephen Monod, said.

He said the defence was pleased the case was finally resolved after nearly a decade.

“Belgian justice has appropriately assessed this case which has generated many misconceptions,” he said in a statement.

The defendants were acquitted of the more serious charge of inhuman treatment but also ordered to pay a fine of 165,000 euros ($184,000), with half the sum suspended.

The eight accused did not appear in court throughout the proceedings.

The case was brought after a servant of the family slipped out of the hotel where the women stayed for several months in 2007 and 2008 and complained to Belgian police. ($1 = 0.8952 euros)

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