Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 July 2019

Egyptian actress Zeina loses bid for girl, 12, to be charged in hotel attack case

The celebrity and her sister are accused of assaulting an Arab-American couple after a dispute at Atlantis The Palm

Egyptian actress Zeina denies assaulting a family during her stay at Atlantis The Palm in Dubai. AFP 
Egyptian actress Zeina denies assaulting a family during her stay at Atlantis The Palm in Dubai. AFP 

An actress accused of assaulting a couple after a row at a five-star Dubai hotel has lost a bid for their 12-year-old daughter to be charged with breaching her privacy.

Egyptian celebrity Zeina, 38, and her sister, 41, allegedly attacked the Arab-American husband and wife at Atlantis The Palm on June 29 last year, after she accused their daughter of taking photos of her without her consent.

According to court records, the celebrity and her sister also screamed at the tourists using “very strong language”.

Police were called and all involved were taken to Al Barsha police station.

At Dubai Court of Misdemeanours in January, the celebrity and her sister denied physically assaulting and insulting the man and his wife.

During the previous hearing, the man denied a counter charge of physically assaulting the actress. His wife, who did not attend court to enter a plea, is also charged with physical assault.

The case was brought back to court on Wednesday, with the actress's lawyer, Mahmoud Azab, requesting that the girl be charged with breaching the privacy of his client.

A counter request to charge Zeina with physically assaulting the girl and traumatising her was made by Awatif Mohammed, from Al Rowaad Advocates, representing the family.

Following requests from both sides, the case was returned to prosecutors who ruled out a breach of privacy charge after a technical report confirmed that neither the girl’s mobile phone nor her mother’s contained any images or recordings of the actress.

“The report also confirmed that no images of the actress were deleted from the devices,” said Ms Mohammed.

Ms Mohammed called on the court to charge the actress with physically assaulting the girl.

She told the court that the girl was traumatised because of the alleged assault and was referred to therapy sessions when she returned to the US.

She also asked the court to cross-examine a witness whose testimony she said confirmed the assault.

“The witness was a customer at the restaurant that day and he saw the actress assaulting the girl. He told that to prosecutors and told them that when he tried to stop the actress from hitting the girl, he was himself assaulted by the actress’s sister,” said Ms Mohammed.

“There is a medical report confirming the girl’s injuries and a testimony of an eyewitness confirming the assault had happened, but yet prosecutors failed to charge the actress with assault for the second time now.”

The actress failed to appear at the latest hearing, with her lawyer telling the court she was sick.

The case was adjourned until April 8, when the court will examine the request for Zeina to be charged with a further assault on the girl.

Updated: March 27, 2019 04:12 PM

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