- The Washington Times - Friday, March 21, 2008

GENEVA (Agence France-Presse) — The brother of the president of the United Arab Emirates, accused of assaulting a U.S. national in a Geneva hotel in 2003, will have his case heard in court May 8, a legal source said Monday.

Sheik Falah bin Sultan bin Zayed Al-Nahyan is accused of inflicting “deliberate bodily lesions with a dangerous object” on the U.S. citizen, Silvano Orsi, in the bar of the Hotel La Reserve in August 2003, a source from Geneva’s justice department told Agence France-Presse.

Mr. Orsi said he was assaulted after rejecting the sheik’s advances, which Mr. Orsi thinks were sexually motivated.

The sheik’s Geneva lawyer couldn’t be reached Monday to say whether the sheik will attend the hearing in person.

Mr. Orsi of Rochester, New York, confirmed the court date in a telephone call to The Washington Times yesterday:

“I was whipped with a belt like an animal by a barbarian and it has been a five-year nightmare for me and my family,” he said.

Mr. Orsi said U.S. government agencies, namely the State Department, were unhelpful, willing to “sacrifice the human rights of an American citizen” for a “cozy relationship” with an oil-rich ally.

“We’re thankful to the Swiss authorities for making everyone equal before the law and giving us our day in court,” he said.

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