x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

'Intention to steal' evidence thin, lawyer argues

Two workers were at store during the time named in an anonymous tip, court hears.

ABU DHABI // Two men were accused of intending to steal from a Du shop after an anonymous phone call – despite no physical evidence, a court heard today.

A Du shop at a Carrefour in the capital received two anonymous tips that the store would be robbed by an employee and an accomplice at a certain time on a certain date this year, records show.

SR and his friend HM, both Egyptian, were there at the time specified, records show, and were arrested.

SR was accused of intent to steal and HM with co-operating with him.

SR denied the charge before Chief Justice Sayed Abdul Baseer, head of the Criminal Court of First Instance.

"But you confessed to the charge at the public prosecution," the judge told him.

"It was under pressure; there were five officers interrogating me," he replied.

HM also denied the charges. His attorney argued that his client's presence at the time of the supposed robbery was not enough proof, and that the conditions of the "intention to steal" charge were not fulfilled.

"It also does not make sense why the defendant [SR] would need an accomplice to monitor the area," he said. "He himself works in the shop and has the key to the money drawer. Why would he need someone to help him?"

He said both men were planning to travel to Egypt the next day, and had airline tickets on Egypt Air.

"You were there at 11.30pm, you have work at that time?" Chief Justice Abdul Baseer asked SR.

The lawyer said he finished work at 11, but forgot his bag in the shop, so he went back to pick it up while HM waited outside smoking a cigarette.

The verdict will be announced on August 16.

hdajani@thenational.ae