Workers accused of inciting labourer riot in Dubai walk free
DUBAI // Eight labourers accused of starting a riot that caused Dh400,000 in damage will walk free after prosecutors failed in repeated attempts to bring a conviction.
The seven Indians and one Nepalese man, aged between 23 and 34, denied charges in the criminal and appeal courts.
The criminal court found them not guilty of leading the riot that took place at premises belonging to construction company Arabtec on the night of January 3. It also cleared them of charges of inciting other workers to cause damage, illegally forming a large gathering and causing damage to the company’s premises, tools and equipment rented from other companies, which amounted to more than Dh400,000.
One defendant was found not guilty of setting fire to a digger by opening its fuel tank and igniting the fuel inside.
Witnesses said two of the eight men complained to the company’s security guard their rooms had been burgled and they demanded to be given locks and keys.
“Shortly after coming to me, the eight men returned with a group of about 100 other workers, which quickly grew to include nearly 500 workers, and they started encouraging the other workers to break and smash everything,” said the Egyptian guard, 25. The defendants were known to Arabtec for violations such as bootlegging, he said.
The men used wooden sticks, iron bars, rocks to damage cars, doors, windows, equipment, vehicles, motorbikes, and staff desks, the guard said.
Another security guard said one worker went on a roof and pushed a water tank to the ground.
The eight were arrested shortly afterward the incident and claimed they had been sleeping at the time of the riot, said a 30-year-old Emirati policeman.
Prosecutors appealed seeking a conviction but the appeals court rejected their request and upheld the men’s innocence.
No reason for the judgment was given.
Updated: July 27, 2016 04:00 AM