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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 14 December 2018

Man 'hugs woman against her will in lift'

But defence lawyer claims the Canadian accuser was drunk and hugged his client first

A man accused of sexually assaulting a woman by hugging her in a lift has said the Canadian drunkenly embraced him first.

And he now claims she was convinced to go to police and file a case against him by their landlord, who has a grudge against him.

Details of the case were heard at Dubai Criminal Court as the Egyptian accused went on trial.

The lawyer told the court that the incident unfolded on May 26 at the residential apartment building where they live in the Barsha district of the city.

A judge heard the pair knew each other but were not in a relationship.

“First of all your honour my client did not sexually assault this woman, who in fact had dropped charges," the defence laywer said.

"She hugged him first and she was drunk at the time. Then the landlord, who has a problem with my client and doesn't like him, called her three days later and convinced her to file a report against my client,” the lawyer said.

He said the landlord told the Canadian woman, who is an engineer, that the Egyptian man was a sex offender and had previously molested another tenant.

“He convinced her that what she thought was an innocent hug, was actually a sex assault. So she called police four days later and she ended up being charged with consuming alcohol, because she also was drunk at the time she called police,” the lawyer said.

In her affidavit, the woman said the man was drunk and began talking to her when they entered the lift.

“He told me he was sad and needed a hug,” she said.

The woman said she felt sorry for him and patted his shoulder but he allegedly pulled her towards him and pressed his body against hers.

“I pushed him away and screamed at him, then he said inappropriate things to me,” she said in her statement.

The defendant denied the charge and said he and the woman are friends and often chatted on WhatsApp.

Police said CCTV footage showed the two hugging outside the lift.

“Then the defendant tried to hug her a second time but she didn't allow him, after which they shook hands and each went on their way,” a police officer that handled the case said.

The trial was adjourned until September 6.