Accused maid in UAE 'beaten after asking to take time off work'

Maid accused of stealing from her employer said she ran away because she would be beaten whenever she asked for a day off.

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ABU DHABI // A maid accused of stealing from her employer ran away because every time she asked for a day off she was beaten, the Criminal Court heard yesterday.

LM, from the Philippines, denied stealing cash and jewellery worth more than Dh8,000 from her employer, saying she had fled from abuse.

The court asked the maid if she wished to face her employer in court and make the allegation face-to-face.

At first she said no, but when pressed by the judge she agreed.

"Why did you say no at first?" asked chief justice Sayed Abdulbaseer. "Because I escaped from her and I don't want to see her again," she replied.

The judge granted her bail and asked: "Do you have your passport so we can bail you or is it with your sponsor?"

The maid said it was with her sponsor. "Who will present their passport to bail this maid out?" asked the chief justice. "Why don't you bail her out?" he jokingly asked the translator.

He then announced that the woman's embassy would be asked to bail her out.

One of the embassy attaches presented his ID and bail was granted. The case was adjourned to September 2.