BRUSSELS (Reuters) - 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)
Reporting by Charlotte Steenackers and Elizabeth Miles; Editing by Alastair Macdonald and Richard Balmforth