Engineer cleared of molesting co-worker.
Summary: Witness says the accused mistook complainant for a friend when he slapped her backside
Bassam Za'za', Legal and Court Correspondent
Dubai: An engineer has been cleared of molesting his co-worker by slapping on her backside while she was drinking water at their workplace.
The Filipina co-worker was reported to have been filling a glass of water from a water cooler in the corridor of the company in March, when the 39-year-old Syrian engineer allegedly slapped her bottom.
The Filipina burst into tears and told her colleague about the incident, and the latter reported the matter to police.
Police apprehended the suspect shortly after the incident.
A medical report confirmed that the Filipina had red marks on her backside.
Citing lack of corroborated evidence, the Dubai Court of First Instance acquitted the Syrian of molesting his co-worker.
When he showed up in court, the accused pleaded not guilty. His lawyer presented a defence witness [suspect's female colleague], who testified before the presiding judge that she did not see the suspect doing anything to the complainant.
The lawyer argued that his client did not slap the Filipina on her backside.
"He bumped into her by mistake. He did not molest her. I ask the court to refer the case to the Dubai Misdemeanours Court because this is a minor assault case and not a case of molestation," the lawyer argued.
However, presiding judge Urfan Omar dismissed the case and acquitted the Syrian of any wrongdoing.
The Filipina told prosecutors that the engineer slapped her backside in the corridor.
"He slapped me hard and the noise was very loud. I yelled at him and cried and told my colleague about the incident, who called the police," she claimed.
A Filipina colleague told prosecutors that the suspect mistook the complainant for another woman co-worker.
"The suspect used to joke with another colleague and slap her backside. That day, he mistook the complainant for his friend [with whom he used to joke] and slapped her on her backside," she testified.
The primary ruling remains subject to appeal within 15 days.
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