x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Man denies trespassing in villa owned by royal family member

A German man is accused of trespassing in a royal villa.

DUBAI // A sales manager denied trespassing in a villa on the Palm Jumeirah owned by a member of the royal family.

Prosecutors in the Court of Misdemeanours charged AR, 50, from Germany, with trespassing in the home on May 2 this year.

He said he had a work relationship with the royalty member's real estate company, as he mediated the sale of two villas on The Palm. At the end of 2010, AR said, he was with MK, the general manager, who was showing the villa to a possible buyer.

He said MK gave him the villa's key so he could show the property to another interested client. Later, after touring the villa with the client he found his car had broken down and would need to be towed.

"I had a bag of clothes in the car, so I put it in the maid's room in the villa, and locked its door then kept the key with me," AR said.

But, he said, he fell ill and could not come to pick up the bag for about two weeks.

When he returned to the villa, it had been sold. He went to the maid's room, but could not find the bag, he said.

When he called the property company to ask about the bag, he said he was told to pick it up. But when he did, police arrested him.

Investigations showed AR had been living in the country illegally since 2009.

HB, a legal consultant at the real estate company, said that when a representative was showing a client the villa, they found the maid's room locked and broke in. HB said it appeared someone had been living there.

AR will present his defence on September 7.

salamir@thenational.ae