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Page last updated at 11:09 GMT, Monday, 15 June 2009 12:09 UK

Prince appeals over Kenya brawl

Prince Ernst August of Hanover at the district court in the northern German city of Hildesheim on 15 June 2009
Ernst August maintains he only slapped the hotel-owner twice

Princess Caroline of Monaco's husband has launched an appeal against his conviction for assaulting a hotel-owner in Kenya in a drunken rage.

Prince Ernst August of Hanover was found guilty in 2004 of causing serious bodily harm and fined.

The court ruled he had repeatedly hit Josef Brunlehner on Lamu Island with a metal object in January 2000 after becoming angry at noise from a disco.

Kenyan authorities did not arrest him, but the case was pursued in Germany.

The 55-year-old - a distant relative of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and great-grandson of the last German emperor, Wilhelm II, was fined 445,000 euros ($620,000; £380,000) when convicted five years ago.

Flaring up

During the trial, hotel-owner Mr Brunlehner, like the prince, a German national, testified that the royal shouted abuse and struck him several times with a metal ring, causing multiple injuries that required emergency-room treatment.

Princess Caroline of Monaco in Monte Carlo, Monaco, on 28 March 2009
Princess Caroline of Monaco had joined her husband in Lamu

The prince's lawyer at the time told the court his client regretted the incident, but was not fully accountable because he had been drinking and was a person "who flares up under the influence of alcohol and loses control of his actions".

Ernst August, who maintains he only slapped Mr Brunlehner twice, appeared at the district court in the German city of Hildesheim on Monday to challenge the conviction.

The prince and his wife had been in the Indian Ocean coastal resort for the millennium celebrations, and left Kenya immediately after the incident.

It was not the first time Ernst August had courted controversy.

In 1998 he was fined after breaking the nose of a TV cameraman.

And in 2000, he was photographed urinating outside the Turkish pavilion at the World's Fair in Hanover.



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