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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 December 2018

Tour guide has acquittal for stealing bag at knifepoint overturned

The man, who maintained the bag in his possession belonged to another woman, will now serve three months in jail

A tour guide who was cleared of attacking a woman with a knife and stealing her bag has had his acquittal overturned by Dubai Court of Appeal and will now serve three months in jail.

The 29-year-old Moroccan defendant denied a theft charge in Dubai Criminal Court in August, saying the plaintiff filed a “malicious report” against him.

“We received a report in which a woman said she was walking back to her residence when a man attacked her with a knife. He assaulted her, then threatened her with the knife before getting away with her bag containing two smart phones and Dh3,000 in cash as well as her official documents,” said an Emirati police officer.

Prosecutors said the bag found in the accused’s possession upon his arrest on May 23 contained a smart phone, a passport and ID carrying a different name to that of the woman who filed the report.

“The bag that I have belongs to a different woman who owes me money but won’t return it. I don't even know this woman who filed the report against me – it’s a malicious report. I have never seen her before in my life. I am a married man with children and I would not do such a thing," said the defendant after denying a charge of forceful theft in court.

The court acquitted him of the charge, but prosecutors appealed the ruling.

Dubai Court of Appeal overturned his acquittal and sentenced him to three months in jail to be followed by deportation.