x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Six men facing trial over alleged attack on family

Six men are to stand trial for allegedly attacking a family in Al Quoz with a meat cleaver, a sword and a club.

DUBAI // Six men are to stand trial for allegedly attacking a family in Al Quoz with a meat cleaver, a sword and a club. Five of the defendants, charged with causing grievous bodily harm, damaging property, and issuing threats, pleaded not guilty before the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance yesterday. A sixth man charged in the Dec 2006 attack remains at large. According to prosecutors, the defendants, all Emiratis, were hunting a Yemeni teenager with whom they had had a quarrel and planned on "butchering" him.

When the teenager took refuge inside the home of a Pakistani family, the defendants allegedly forced their way inside the building and demanded the lady of the house, NR, 42, surrender him. "I heard a lot of commotion outside the house so I opened the door to see what was going on and suddenly the front door was flung open violently and three men burst inside," NR testified. She said the three of the defendants, identified as MS, 24, MM, 21, and ME, 19, entered her home while the other three remained outside. She said MS carried a meat cleaver, MM a sword while ME a thick wooden stick.

"They demanded I hand over [the Yemeni teenager] and said they wanted to butcher him. They started shoving me and pushed their way inside the house," she said. At that moment her son, identified as Rashid, arrived with the Yemeni teenager's father and managed to halt the attack. All six defendants fled the scene. NR, her husband, Rashid and the Yemeni boy's father then file a complaint at the local police station.

"While we were at the police station my husband's sister called me and told me the defendants had returned and tried to break into the house again," she told prosecutors. She said her sister-in-law, FD, 24, prevented the attackers from entering the house, but the men then started hurling rocks at the house. One of the projectiles, a cinder block, landed on FD's foot, resulting in a serious fracture and the amputation of a toe.

The court adjourned the case until Jan 18 next year. hbathish@thenational.ae