x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Rape case maid must wait another month

A Filipina housemaid who accused a Syrian businessman of repeatedly raping her earlier this year will spend another month in a crowded shelter.

DUBAI // A Filipina housemaid who accused a Syrian businessman of repeatedly raping her earlier this year will spend another month in a crowded shelter before the court reconvenes in July. The woman, identified as HT, 32, alleged that her employer, HAR, 41, raped her on January 3, a few days after she had started working for the family in Rashidiya. She eventually fled to the Philippine Consulate on February 21.

On June 11, the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance adjourned the trial to July 27. The defendant had pleaded not guilty to rape charges at a previous hearing. "The case has been dragging on for a long time," HT said from the shelter yesterday. "If I had a choice, I would rather go home." She has been staying for almost four months in a Dubai shelter crowded with more than 100 Filipinas waiting to be repatriated.

The shelter, run by Filipino labour and welfare officials, provides counseling to women, usually housemaids, who flee their employers. HT also said that on May 15 she had been taken to Dubai Hospital where it was established that she was suffering from complications arising from a pregnancy, which had to be terminated. rruiz@thenational.ae