x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Ikea cafe attack accused lose medical examination bid

Court rejects defence request to examine pregnant woman who says she was permanently disabled in a beating at an Ikea over restaurant seating.

DUBAI // A woman who was allegedly beaten by three men over seating at an Ikea restaurant when she was pregnant will not be examined by a medical committee, as requested by defence lawyers.

Judge Hamad Abdel Latif yesterday dismissed the request, filed on behalf of the three Emirati brothers - AA, 52; MA, 33; and EA, 43 - accused of assaulting the woman and her husband.

The three had challenged the prosecution's claim the woman suffered a permanent disability to her jaw.

AA, MA, and EA are charged with assaulting AK, a Canadian investor, and his wife BB on June 13, 2009. All three accused have denied the charges before the Criminal Court of First Instance.

Prosecution records show the couple was attacked after a disagreement over seating at the Ikea cafeteria in Dubai Festival City.

AK told prosecutors that when he and his pregnant wife went for lunch at the restaurant, they sat at the end of a table for 12.

"AA approached us and told us that the table was booked, as his three children were sitting on the other end," AK said.

BB told the men she was pregnant and unable to move, and her husband told the men they could move to another table while the Canadian couple finished eating, court records show.

At that point, "I was punched in the back of the head and lost consciousness, and then [woke to find] three men kicking me and punching me on the floor and saw my wife bleeding from her legs profusely," AK told prosecutors.

The alleged attackers dislocated BB's jaw, records show. AA was also charged with threatening and assaulting a Syrian analyst, ZR, who tried to stop the fight.

ZR told prosecutors he was having lunch with a friend when he saw AA hitting BB while MA and EA beat AK, who was on the floor.

He said he was punched as he tried to stop one of the men swinging a chair at the unconscious husband.

Security guards called police to stop the fight, prosecution records show, and BB was taken to the emergency section of Rashid Hospital.

The court will reconvene on July 4.

amustafa@thenational.ae