x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Facebook threats made against woman in labour case, court told

Man involved in labour hearing sought to keep woman from testifying against him, prosecutors say.

DUBAI // A dismissed manager used Facebook to threaten, defame and coerce a former employee out of testifying against him at a labour case, a criminal court heard this morning.

MH, 42, an Emirati, posted defamatory statements, insulted and libeled the female employee and intruded on her privacy by publicly posting facts about her life on September 19, prosecutors told the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance. He denied the charges.

MH was fired from Al Rostamani Group after complaints by his subordinates, which included the Emirati victim, a 24-year-old woman, prosecution records show.

"We filed a complaint to the management after his treatment to us at work went from bad to worse, and in turn, the company dismissed him," MA said.

MH filed a labour complaint against Al Rostamani Group, records show, and during the trial the woman was called to testify against him.

At that point, prosecutors say, he began threatening her.

"He sent intimidating text messages to me threatening me not to testify. However, I dismissed them, but then he defamed and insulted me on his Facebook page," she said.

MH's posts suggested that MA had been involved with illicit relationships. According to prosecutors, he threatened to contact her father and tell him about them, as well as generally spread word and ruin any future job prospects.

"I have pictures of you ready to go up on Facebook that I will show your parents from your thing in Abu Dhab. I want your resignation by Sunday and you have brought this on to yourself," the published post said, according to prosecution records.

MH confessed to prosecutors during the investigation.

The court will issue a verdict on November 28.

amustafa@thenational.ae