School watchman accused of stealing furniture tells Abu Dhabi court items were broken

Egyptian is charged with stealing 50 tables and chairs from the school and witnesses say he was caught on CCTV.

ABU DHABI // A watchman accused of stealing 50 tables and chairs from a school said they were broken and he had no business with them, the criminal court heard on Tuesday.

The Egyptian defendant, according to witnesses, loaded the furniture in a school bus, and drove it off school grounds. He returned later but only brought back 15 items of furniture.

The first witness, an official from the school, said he knew the watchman was responsible and the proof came when he was caught in the act on the school’s CCTV cameras.

The second witness, a junior watchman who works under the defendant, said he was ordered by his boss to help transfer the tables and chairs to the bus. The defendant’s nephew, who also works with them, assisted as well.

The judge asked if the defendant took the items straight to the storage room, which is inside the school, or took them somewhere else first. The junior watchman said he did not know.

“They were broken chairs and tables, what will I do with them?” argued the defendant, adding that officials had ordered the furniture to be removed from the school.

“I have been working with the school for decades, why would I steal broken tables and chairs now?” he said.

The witnesses said the furniture was not broken, as the defendant claimed, and they were all new.

The Egyptian’s defence lawyer asked for an adjournment to view the CCTV footage, and he requested a number of defence witnesses who were present during the transfer process.

Published: December 9, 2014 04:00 AM