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Professor cleared of molesting 4 secretaries.

Dubai: A 70-year-old general director has been acquitted of sexually molesting four secretaries during the period when they worked at his education centre in Dubai.

Citing lack of corroborated evidence, the Dubai Court of First Instance yesterday cleared the Jordanian, A.A., of caressing, groping and hugging the secretaries -- a 30-year-old Tunisian, a 23-year-old Jordanian, a 39-year-old Egyptian and a 25-year-old Syrian.

A.A. pleaded not guilty and rejected what he described as the women's "fabricated and malevolent accusations".

"It is impossible for a well educated professor like me to commit such an act. I am a professor of public ethics. I have never committed such an act. The women used to work for my education centre and they lodged those false allegations because I fired them," A.A. contended before the court.

The suspect's advocate Dr Ra'ed Al Awlaqi argued before the court that his client was groundlessly dragged to the court.

"The former secretaries lodged their complaint together. What a coincidence! Although each one of the women claimed that she was molested on different dates, but they lodged their complaints at one go. Is that logical? Prosecutors failed to produce substantiated evidence against my client," argued Dr Al Awlaqi.

The Tunisian woman alleged that the incident happened shortly after she got hired as a secretary at A.A.'s education centre.

"He used to call me to his desk. On August 4, 2012 he touched me indecently and spoke to me in an inappropriate manner and asked me to kiss him," she claimed.

The Jordanian woman claimed that she was molested on May 7, 2012 and that A.A. allegedly asked her for a kiss.

The Egyptian claimed that she was allegedly molested on May 11, 2012, and that the suspect used to talk to hear sweetly.

The Syrian woman alleged: "When the suspect called me to his office, he called me beautiful and asked me to remove my hijab [headscarf] and jacket."

Advocate Dr Al Awlaqi rejected the women's allegations and claimed that they complained against his client out of malice.

"Since the beginning, A.A. denied all the allegations. The claimants alleged that my client molested them inside his office. Well why didn't any of them cry or shout or defend herself or run out of the office. The fact that four of them remained silent and complained after a long period is the best proof that their complaints were fabricated and spiteful," said the advocate.

Yesterday's judgment remains subject to appeal within 15 days.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Mar 22, 2013
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