x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Two deny blame in fatal kitchen collapse

The tenant who sublet a flat in which a Bangladeshi housemaid died, as well as the Emirati lawyer who owns the building, both denied causing her death in court.

DUBAI // A tenant who sublet his flat to a Bangladeshi housemaid yesterday denied causing her accidental death when the kitchen roof collapsed on her. The maid died on the day she moved into the flat, on February 2, the Dubai Court of Misdemeanours was told. The owner of the building, TS, a 44-year-old Emirati lawyer, appeared in court on July 21 and denied charges of causing the maid's death by failing to maintain the building and failing to adhere to building standards. TS rented the flat to MG, 60, a Pakistani driver, who sublet it to the maid. MG also denied the charges yesterday before the presiding judge, Ibrahim Abu Shamma.

Prosecutors say MG illegally built the kitchen that collapsed. He says he made no modifications, and when he rented the flat the room had already been converted into a kitchen. In evidence, he said he was just outside the flat when he heard a collapse and saw water flowing down the stairs. He ran upstairs and pulled the maid from the rubble alive, and waited for paramedics. The woman died in hospital from her injuries.

TS told prosecutors he bought the building three months before the collapse, and that his contract with MG stated no subletting was allowed. The court adjourned the case to August 25. @Email:amustafa@thenational.ae