June 13, 2009

The princess and the bailiff in Paris

A Saudi princess reportedly paid what she owed a Paris store after a bailiff showed up at her hotel with a court order allowing him to seize her luggage.

Maha al-Sudairi owed more than $120,000 to Key Largo, a clothing chain, the BBC reported Saturday. Jacky Benazerah, a lawyer for the chain, said she had ignored many requests for payment until the bailiff visited her at the upmarket George V Hotel, owned by Sudairi's nephew.

The operation ordered by the judge began at 4.30 p.m. in the presence of the local police chief, Benazerah said. It seems that during the operation the Saudi consul turned up in person and, following talks, a guaranteed (check) for the total sum owed to my client was handed over.

Sudairi is said to have racked up large bills during previous shopping sprees, with some stores complaining of being owed tens of thousands of dollars. Her husband is Saudi interior minister and she has diplomatic immunity from prosecution.