Candice Cohen-Ahnine, pictured with her daughter Aya, told relatives she felt threatened before she “fell to her death” in Paris

PARIS — The tragic story of Candice Cohen Ahnine, 35, a French Jewish woman who was in the midst of a bitter custody battle for her daughter came to a sad end last week when just a short time before she was finally set to see her daughter, she fell to her death from her Paris apartment window.

Cohen-Ahnine was involved in a custody battle with the father of her 11-year-old daughter Aya, a Saudi prince— Sattam al-Saud since 2008 when he kidnapped Aya.

After years of courtroom struggles, the court ruled that Candice had a right to visit her daughter, and Candice was set to leave for Riyadh to visit Aya next month.

In January she won her first legal battle when a Paris court declared that Aya must be returned to her mother’s custody.

Candice Cohen-Ahnine, pictured with her daughter Aya, told relatives she felt threatened before she “fell to her death” in Paris

Investigators reportedly had been leaning towards an accident as cause of death, but reports in the French media suggested Ms Cohen-Ahnine had slipped and fallen to her death “as if she was escaping something dangerous.” Britain’s Daily Telegraph reported.

Police refused to confirm the reports.

Cohen-Ahnine’s lawyer, Laurence Tarquiny-Charpentier, said the death “seemed to be some sort of accident,” and did not know whether foul play was involved.

She said witnesses had been at the scene of the crime, and more information about the circumstances of the death is expected Monday.

“What I can tell you is that it wasn’t a suicide,” Tarquiny-Charpentier said.

“She was a woman who was a real fighter and a very positive person, and plus, there were plans to see Aya in mid-September. That was her greatest motivation of all.”

Escaped alone

Cohen-Ahnine recently wrote a book describing her fight to “get back” her 11-year-old daughter, Aya

She alleged that when she agreed to visit Prince Sattam with her daughter in 2008, she was immediately locked up in a Riyadh palace, and accused by authorities of being a Muslim who converted to Judaism, a crime punishable by death in Saudi Arabia.

When a maid left her door open she was able to escape to the French embassy, and return alone to France.

In January, a Paris criminal court ordered Prince Sattam al-Saud to hand over custody of his daughter to her mother and provide child support of 10,000 euros a month.

But the prince reportedly dismissed the ruling, and said: “If need be, I’ll go like (Osama) bin Laden and hide in the mountains with Aya.”

Defiant: Prince Sattam al-Saud (left) failed to comply with a French court ruling which ordered him to hand his daughter Aya back to her mother. A picture of the girl wearing a niqab (right) was posted on Facebook

Nonetheless Cohen-Ahnine’s lawyer said delicate negotiations with the prince had led to improved ties, and a planned visit with Aya was due next month.

Simply obtaining the visit was, “already a positive first step, because getting to open the doors to the prince’s palace was very complex, and required the work of a huge team of people,” her lawyer said.

Cruel fate

“We were so close to her goal. And we spoke on the telephone the day before she died. We were supposed to meet tomorrow to get things ready,” said Tarquiney-Charpentier.

“It’s so painful, and at the same time, there is this feeling of failure.”

Cohen-Ahnine and the prince met in London and their daughter was born in November 2001. Their relationship continued until 2006 when he allegedly announced he was obliged to marry a cousin, but that she could be a second wife. She refused and they separated.

The prince denied ever having kidnapped the child or the mother.

Reacting to the death, Jean-Claude Elfassi, co-author of Cohen-Ahnine’s book wrote in his blog on August 17: “I can only show my disgust at the slowness of the investigating judge in charge of her case, who after three years of investigating never delivered an arrest warrant for Prince Sattam al-Saud,” wrote Elfassi.

He added: “Fate has been cruel to her (Cohen-Ahnine). When they parted she promised her daughter” ‘We will meet again, I’ll come get you, I’ll never leave you.’”


1998: Prince Sattam al-Saud and Candice Cohen-Ahnine meet in Browns nightclub in London. They begin an on-off relationship.

2001: Their daughter, Aya, is born.

2006: The couple break up after the prince claims he must marry a cousin and Miss Cohen-Ahnine refuses to be his second wife.

2008: Miss Cohen-Ahnine and Aya visit the Saudi capital Riyadh, where the mother claims they are locked up in a palace. Miss Cohen-Ahnine manages to escape, but Aya remains with her father.

2009: A child custody battle between the feuding parents begins.

2011: Miss Cohen-Ahnine attacks her former partner in a book entitled Give My Daughter Back.

January 2012: A French criminal court awards custody of Aya to Miss Cohen-Ahnine, but the prince fails to comply with the order.

August 2012: Miss Cohen-Ahnine falls to her death from a luxury apartment block in Paris.

Source: Ynet News and 5TJT Staff


  1. I am sure there will never ever be a full investigation and it will be pushed under the rug as an accident.

    The poor Yiddish girl will grow up as a nice Muslim girl and will be forced into marriage of an uncle at the age 14.

    You did yourself proud

  2. unfortunate there are plenty of mix marriages in Israel, Jewish girls marrying Palestinians.

    Let this be a lesson, how these things usually end up

  3. i agree with all of the above comments, but now is not the time to say these stuff.

    The woman just lost her life , she deserves some respect and compassion

  4. Muslims by nature are cold blooded killers and this story had an ending that any normal person could have predicted.

    Now IS the time to talk about it, because this is a lesson to be learned for those that are still in denial of what kind of people these are

  5. I am not concerned with Mrs. Cohen, she made her bed and paid the price for it. It is the little Jewish girl that my heart bleeds for, She has no chance in life and will live a Muslim life and be treated exactly like any other Muslim woman, which we all know what kind of abuse they endure


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