x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Egyptians deny assault on beach

Two Egyptian men before a court deny sexually assaulting an Uzbek woman on a Dubai beach.

DUBAI // Two Egyptian men pleaded not guilty yesterday at the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance to sexually assaulting an Uzbek woman on a beach, insulting her, stealing her football and being intoxicated in public. MA, 25, and MS, 27, both financial officers, are accused of sexually assaulting SB, 30, on the beach at Mina Seyahi on March 14. Both defendants are out on bail. Their lawyer, Nasser Hashem, yesterday asked the court for an adjournment to prepare his defence.

SB told prosecutors in her written statement that she was at the beach with her American husband and an Uzbek female friend when the defendants approached her and asked if they could play with her football. "They both carried bottles of alcoholic beverages and I was afraid, so I gave them the football as they looked drunk," said SB. "They returned again three minutes later and asked my friend if she would drink with them.

"When she told them she was a Muslim and did not drink they threw the contents of their bottles at us." SB said she warned the men that her husband was close by and even told them she would call the police, but the men said they were not afraid of the police and called her and her friend an insulting name. She said that as her friend was calling the police, MA touched her inappropriately then he and MS ran off with her football.

SB said she managed to find out which flat the pair lived in by asking the security guard of the building that she saw them run into. She told police and the men were arrested. The case was adjourned until June 11. hbathish@thenational.ae