x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Man accused of assisting abortion

A man assisted a woman with an abortion in a hotel room and discarded the foetus in a car-dealership lot in Musaffah, a criminal court has heard.

ABU DHABI // A man assisted a woman with an abortion in a hotel room and discarded the foetus in a car-dealership lot in Musaffah, a criminal court was told on Sunday.

BM, a Syrian, appeared on Sunday before the Abu Dhabi Criminal Court of First Instance and was charged with illegal sex, facilitating prostitution and assisting in an abortion. The court also addressed four women from Uzbekistan, who were charged with prostitution and being in the country illegally.

SD, one of the four, was accused of aborting her pregnancy and having sex with BM. She pleaded not guilty to the sex charges but admitted to being in the country illegally.

SD initially confessed to taking abortion pills and to having sex with BM, but she retracted that after the Chief Justice told her she faced stoning if she confessed. She then pleaded not guilty and said she aborted the foetus naturally.

BM pleaded not guilty to assisting in an abortion, but admitted taking the foetus to Musaffah and discarding it at Ford dealership lot. He said he met SD in a club but never had sex with her.

He testified that a friend of his, an Emirati, rented the hotel room, then asked him to change the room to BM's name. He said he did so. He said he went to the room after leaving work and saw the four women there.

"After I left, my Emirati friend called me, and he said [SD] took pills and that she was unconscious," BM told the court. "I thought she committed suicide. I went to the room and found her unconscious on the bed."

He said she awoke and told him she had taken abortion pills and needed him to dispose of the foetus. BM said he called the police after he buried the foetus.

"I was the one who called the CID," BM said. "They did not arrest me in the room as they say."

During the hearing, the women asked for permission to speak and told the justices through a translator that BM was with them during the abortion. The woman said he had rented the room for that specific purpose, then took the foetus and asked her not to tell anyone.

The court adjourned the case until December 12 so that the defendants could hire lawyers and so that the arresting officers could testify.

 

hhassan@thenational.ae