The lawyer representing a Saudi Arabian princess charged with human trafficking in the US has claimed that the Kenyan maid at the centre of the case flew first class and was treated to spa visits.
Forty two-year old Meshael Alayban was arrested by police in Orange County, California, earlier this month. Prosecutors accuse Alayban of forcing her maid to work against her will for 16 hours per day, seven days per week, for just $220 per month. The victim is said to have been unable to flee as Alayban had confiscated her passport.
Prosecutors have identified Alayban as one of the wives of Saudi Arabia’s Prince Abdulrahman bin Nasser bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
At a hearing scheduled for Monday, which Alayban did not attend, defence attorneys Jennifer Keller and Paul Meyer claimed that the unnamed maid was not mistreated, but flew first class on Dubai’s Emirates Airline, with tickets costing up to $10,000.
The attorneys also said that upon arriving in the US in May, all of Alayban’s servants had access to mobile phones, the internet and Facebook, as well as cable TV channels in their native languages.
They were also said to be allowed used of a spa, gym and swimming pool, and were often taken on unsupervised shopping trips to malls.
Prosecutors allege that the maid was not permitted to take a day off or go for breaks. She was also said to be forbidden from leaving Alayban’s house, except for family outings when she was made to carry bags.
A further hearing in the case is scheduled for September20.