x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Gang 'attacked man with swords and cleavers'

A civil defence officer accused of assaulting a man with a sword says he confessed only because he was severely beaten by police.

DUBAI // A man being attacked by a gang of eight armed with sticks, swords and cleavers was saved when a passing policeman came to his aid, a court heard today.

The Dubai Criminal Court heard that RK, a 26-year-old Emirati, parked his car near his home in Al Safa on October 7, 2010, to take a phone call. When he did so, two Nissans with covered licence plates stopped next to him and eight masked men got out carrying the weapons.

"My instant reaction was to start running but when I fell down they gathered around me and started beating me up," he said, adding that the assault was cut short when a passing policeman rushed to help.

The 20-year-old policeman AM said he gave chase but the men got back into their cars and sped off. "I lost them when they jumped a yellow traffic signal," he said.

The officer said that one of the cars was caught on a speed camera. While some of the vehicle's licence plate was obscured, experts were able to deduce it from some of the numbers that were showing.

The car was traced down to HM, a 20-year-old Emirati who works for the civil defence. He was charged with assault and consuming alcohol illegally, as was his compatriot SH, an unemployed 23-year-old. The civil defence officer denied the charges, while SH was not present to enter a plea.

"He is in detention your honour," the civil defence officer told Judge Maher Salameh.

"I didn't assault the man and wasn't present at the time of assault, but my car was being used by SH at that time," added the officer.

He also denied drinking alcohol, claiming he only confessed because he had been beaten up by police.

A medical report described RK's injuries as constituting a permanent 12 per cent disability in his left wrist.

No motive for the attack has yet been suggested.

The next hearing will be on May 16.

salamir@thenational.ae