x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Men tortured business partner into signing cheque, court told

They locked him in a room and he escaped by throwing notes from the window, records show.

DUBAI // Two business partners locked up a third partner, assaulting him, then forcing him to sign two cheques, a Dubai court heard this morning.

The Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance was told that LS, 47, and ZP, 49, both from Hungary, imprisoned their compatriot AP, 45, in their apartment in November 2010.

They are facing charges of detaining a person and forcibly obtaining cheques. LS was charged with physically assaulting AP to make him sign the cheques.

All denied the charges, and AP told the court this morning that he forgave the two men.

AP told prosecutors that on the day of the incident, LS and ZP asked him to sign on a cheque for Dh85,000 from their company's account for the owner of the apartment in which they live. When he refused, LS beat him up.

He added that after he gave in and signed the cheque, they asked him to sign another one for Dh35,000 from his personal account, but he did not have his chequebook. They then locked him in a room.

An hour later, AP said, he managed to throw "help me" notes from the room's window, and 10 minutes later police were in the apartment.

Records show that ZK, a British project manager, found the note and called police.

"The paper I found said that a sick man is being held against his will in an apartment in the building and is being beaten. So I went to the apartment, but no one opened the door, therefore i called the police," said ZK, 36.

A verdict is expected on August 21.

salamir@thenational.ae