German prince apologises for rowdy behaviour

25th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

25 November 2004, HANOVER - Prince Ernst August, the head of the royal house of Hanover and a cousin to Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, apologised to a German court via his lawyer on Thursday for two of his much-publicised assaults, saying he had been drunk at the time. The German aristocrat, who is married to Princess Caroline of Monaco, could face jail if judges decide that his earlier eight-month suspended sentence was not enough or that he has not mended his ways. But prosecutors, who appealed against th

25 November 2004

HANOVER - Prince Ernst August, the head of the royal house of Hanover and a cousin to Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, apologised to a German court via his lawyer on Thursday for two of his much-publicised assaults, saying he had been drunk at the time.

The German aristocrat, who is married to Princess Caroline of Monaco, could face jail if judges decide that his earlier eight-month suspended sentence was not enough or that he has not mended his ways.

But prosecutors, who appealed against those sentences, have yet to tell the court what punishment they think is appropriate.

Ernst August, 50, whose fortune is widely estimated at EUR 600 million, did not show up at the appeal hearing.

His lawyer, Jochen Heidemeier, told the court that the heir to the former Hanoverian kings admitted he had kicked a woman photographer in the behind with his patent leather shoe in the Austrian city of Salzburg.

He also admitted he had slapped a neighbour - a nightclub owner, Josef Brunlehner - on a holiday island in Kenya, and "could not rule out" that there had been "some undefined object" in his hand while doing the hitting.

"He regrets the incident," said Heidemeier. "Alcohol and his great personal excitement led to a state where he lost control."

In an omnibus trial in 2001, Ernst August was given the suspended jail term and fined DEM 500,000 (EUR 255,000). Both the accused and Brunlehner have also appealed, but other victims have settled with the prince and have withdrawn appeals. 

DPA

Subject: German news 

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