By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America Bureau
July 29, 2013
SANTA ANA, Calif–Saudi Princess Meshael Alayban who is free on a $5 million dollar bail did not appear in court on Monday morning as scheduled. She was expected to enter her plea regarding human trafficking charges. Her attorneys said they were to ask for a postponement until September and her presence was not required.
A judge ordered that she must appear at future court dates.
Alayban was arrested earlier this month after a Kenyan domestic worker had escaped her home, and accused the Saudi princess of confiscating her passport while forcing her to work around the clock for low pay.
Prosecutors believe she may have brought over several workers, including 4 women from the Philippines held under similar circumstances. So far, prosecutors have only filed charges in the case of the unnamed Kenyan woman. Alayban’s attorney Paul Meyers distributed a statement, saying that the nannies traveled to the US on first class tickets, and were allowed cell phones, access to the internet, use of gym, spa, and pool.
It says the royal family even bought cable in their native language for them.
The statement, which the defense declined to elaborate on also said the nannies were often dropped off to shop alone in neighborhood malls, which were all paid for by the families. Alayban is scheduled to return to court in September.
The Philippine consulate says they have been in touch with authorities on the matter, who told them that the four women whose identities are being witheld for now are being well cared for.