Saudi Princess Buniah al-Saud, a member of the world's wealthiest oil dynasty, faced new accusations Tuesday of stealing and selling her former driver's big-screen TV and furniture for $6,000. The charges joined an earlier count of felony battery that landed her in jail Monday night after her maid said she beat her and pushed her downstairs last week. [...] The princess told Orange County sheriff's deputies Friday that they could not arrest her, claiming she had diplomatic immunity. [...] Officials [of the Immigration and Naturalization Service] said that a review of the agency's records gave no indication that al-Saud had been granted diplomatic status by the United States.
Why on earth would a princess need to steal from her servants? What on earth is going on with that family?
Interestingly, the stories on her diplomatic immunity just get more tangled. According to a CBS news report broadcast last night, the princess actually had diplomatic immunity ... right up to the point where she decided to go to Washington to get away from the turmoil. CBS said that INS said that at that point, by not notifying INS prior to the trip, as required by the terms of her visa, she immediately forfeited diplomatic immunity. But now INS seems to be saying that she never had diplomatic immunity, and when the police contacted the Saudi embassy to make sure, they were ... given mistaken information, to put it diplomatically.
It will be fascinating to see what happens here. Up to this point, I would imagine that the al-Sauds would have paid a hefty bit of money to the servants to make them and this situation go away. Now, of course, it's just a bit late. The servants themselves are not bringing charges; technically, the state of Florida is. I would imagine that there would be some sort of plea bargain. After all, she's technically a first-- and second -- time offender, so jail time for these things is relatively rare, especially if you have money. (If it were me, I'd make sure that the plea bargain included at least 6 months of jail time. I would imagine that six months of jail time would give the princess an intimate experience of the limits of privilege.)
12/19/2001: vive la france
12/19/2001: princess, redux
12/19/2001: yemen and rumsfeld
12/18/2001: you're NOT in the army now
12/18/2001: interesting donation
12/18/2001: shame on winn dixie, indeed
12/18/2001: saudi princess
12/17/2001: new resolve
12/17/2001: a victim of the attack ... yeah, right
12/17/2001: polluters ho!