x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Dubai accountant in fist fight over end-of-service benefits

Firm's manager used his higaal to beat an employee requesting end-of-service benefits, Dubai court hears.

DUBAI // A company manager used his higaal, or head-tie, to beat an employee requesting his end-of-service benefits, a court heard today.

Prosecutors told the Misdemeanour Court that the 29-year-old accountant AK, from Egypt, visited his company's offices on April 10 this year to claim the Dh130,000 he claims he was owed.

FA, a 51-year-old Egyptian partner in the construction materials firm, said that when he saw the accountant arrive he asked him to return his office key, but the accountant refused, so the partner called the manager MS, a 35-year-old Emirati.

He said that when the manager arrived he entered the accountant's office and the accountant then locked the door before a fight broke out between the two. During the fight, he said the accountant was pushed onto a glass table causing it to smash. "I don't know who started the fight," said the firm's partner.

The accountant claims that the manager hit him with both his fist and his higaal before picking up a wooden bar, at which point a number of other employees intervened and stopped the fight.

When the accountant lodged a complaint against his former boss, the manager said that he had been assaulted first and that he had only pushed the accountant.

Both men have been charged with assault. In court, the manager admitted the charge, while the accountant denied it.

However, the manager said that he had been provoked and was acting in self defence. He said the previous day he noticed the accountant was in his office after work hours eating fish with a friend. "I called him and told him he could not use my office like that and ordered him to return the key but he did not," said the manager.

The manager also denied insulting the accountant.

It was not clear whether the accountant had resigned from his position, or was fired.

The case was adjourned to August 6.

salamir@thenational.ae