Swiss court rejects US citizen appeal against Arab sheikh

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Federal Tribunal rules that the American failed to meet requirements of proper court procedures.

Geneva -- Switzerland's highest court has thrown out an appeal by a US national against a court decision to acquit an Arab sheikh of assault, the plaintiff Silvano Orsi told AFP Tuesday.

The Federal Tribunal rejected Orsi's appeal, ruling that the US citizen had failed to meet requirements of proper court procedures in his appeal.

Orsi had accused Sheikh Falah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, the brother of the United Arab Emirates' former president, of assaulting him with his belt after the American refused his advances.

A court last July found the sheikh guilty and handed down a fine of CHF 540,000  (EUR 337,500) for inflicting bodily injuries on the US citizen.

However, the sheikh filed an appeal and in March, the court of appeal overturned the earlier verdict, ruling that the leather belt was "not a dangerous object."

Orsi then took the case to the Federal Tribunal, which rejected his case. His request for legal aid was also turned down and he was ordered to pay legal fees of FR 2,000.

The case dates back to 19 August 2003, when the sheikh was in Geneva accompanying his father on an official visit.

At the luxury La Reserve hotel in Geneva, the sheikh bought a bottle of champagne for Orsi, who refused the gift.

The sheikh's lawyers said that the sheikh was offended as Orsi had thought that he was homosexual.

Meanwhile, Orsi told AFP that his rights were "sacrificed for political and economic reasons."

He added that he planned to bring the case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France.

AFP / Expatica

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