DUBAI // A maid accused of murdering her baby hid its corpse in a suitcase because she was so scared of being punished for having sex outside of marriage, a court heard yesterday.
Prosecutors said that JA, a 29-year-old from Ethiopia, fell pregnant by AK, a 35-year-old Indian driver, in a consensual affair when he was working at her sponsor's house in Al Mutaineh 2 in August last year. She managed to keep the pregnancy secret from her employer throughout her term and gave birth unassisted in her room on April 24, 2012, using a knife to cut the umbilical cord. She claims the baby was born dead, but an autopsy showed the baby was born alive and was breast fed at least once before being dying of suffocation
Some while after the birth the maid's employers, an elderly Emirati couple, grew suspicious at the number of breaks she would request. The maid would use these to visit her room claiming she was tired.
The couple decided to book her a plane ticket home and asked their grandson AM, 17, to help. They kept the booking a secret but told the maid to shower and get dressed so they could all go out.
While she was in the shower they began to search her bags to see if she was hiding something. However, the maid noticed and rushed back out of the bathroom and tried to stop them.
The grandmother AH said she managed to check one of the maid's bags, but that when she tried to check a second one the maid rushed towards her and stopped her. The maid then grabbed an item wrapped in a black shayla and tried to flee the house. The family chased and caught the maid and found that the shayla contained the baby's dead body. They then called the police and reported the incident.
SS, a 22-year-old Emirati policeman, said that the baby's body showed signs of decomposition as the abdomen and face had turned green and swollen. "When I asked her why would she put the baby in a bag, she said she was scared she would be caught for having an illicit relation and an illicit child."
The maid and the driver are both on trial in the Misdemeanour Court charged with consensual sex outside of marriage - the maid will face a separate trial in the Criminal Court on the charge of premeditated murder.
Neither was present in the Misdemeanour Court yesterday, so the case was adjourned to September 9 to summon them.