x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Brothers deny assaulting pregnant woman in cafe

Judge calls for copy of surveillance tapes from Ikea restaurant in Dubai for day of alleged fracas over seats.

DUBAI // Two of three Emirati brothers charged with the assault of a pregnant woman and her husband in the Ikea cafeteria at Dubai Festival City have denied the accusations in the absence of the third. 

AA, 52, and EA, 43, appeared at the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance yesterday with their lawyer. The third suspect, MA, 33, was travelling on an official mission and would return to the Emirates in about 15 days, the lawyer said.

The trio allegedly attacked a Canadian investor, AK and his wife BB, a marketing manager, on June 13 last year. 

According to prosecution records, the assault during the lunch hour left BB with a permanent injury after her jaw was dislocated. AA was also charged with threatening and assaulting a Syrian analyst, ZR, who attempted to intervene. A A denied the charges, telling Presiding Judge Hamad Abdel Latif he had warned Z R he would complain because ZR had attacked him.

EA had denied his charges during the last court session. The judge requested a copy of the surveillance tapes from the day of the incident. ZR told prosecutors he saw the two families fighting as he was having lunch at the cafeteria with a friend. He said he saw AA hitting the pregnant woman while MA and EA were striking the husband on the floor. He said he was punched as he attempted to stop the melee.

AK said when he and his wife went for lunch at the restaurant they sat at the edge of a table for 12, annoying the brothers, who said the places were reserved. "A A approached us and told us that the table was booked as his three children were sitting on the other end," AK told prosecutors. 

BB told the men she was pregnant and unable to move but her husband asked her to remain quiet and asked the brothers to sit at another table while they finished eating. BB was then attacked by the three men, who kicked and punched her, court heard.

Store security guards called police to intervene. BB was taken to Al Rashid Hospital. 

The case has been adjourned to November 22, when prosecution witnesses will be heard. 

balqabbani@thenational.ae