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 defense 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.
Reporting by Charlotte Steenackers and Elizabeth Miles; Editing by Alastair Macdonald and Richard Balmforth