World

Belgian court finds princesses guilty of abusing servants

A Belgian court has found a princess from Abu Dhabi and her seven daughters guilty of mistreating around 20 servants forced to work for them in a plush Brussels hotel.

The court found the eight princesses guilty of "human trafficking and degrading treatment," handing down 15-month suspended prison sentences and fining them 165,000 euros ($184,000). Their butler was acquitted.

The case dates back to July 2008, when police raided the then Conrad Hotel where the now 64-year-old princess, Sheikha Hamda Al-Nahyan, had rented the entire 4th floor for a few months.

She and her daughters were alleged to have had people working round the clock, forcing some to sleep on the floor.

The princesses did not appear in court, only their legal representatives.