'Her home always had food,' sister tells Dubai court in maid starvation death trial

DUBAI // The sister of a woman accused of starving her maid to death by keeping the cupboards and refrigerators locked told Dubai Criminal Court the home was always full of food. The 51-year-old Emirati said she was fasting when she discovered the Indonesian woman’s body at her sibling’s home in September, but was so […]

DUBAI // The sister of a woman accused of starving her maid to death by keeping the cupboards and refrigerators locked told Dubai Criminal Court the home was always full of food.

The 51-year-old Emirati said she was fasting when she discovered the Indonesian woman’s body at her sibling’s home in September, but was so shocked by what she saw she drank some water from the kitchen.

“This is the first time in my life I’d seen a dead person, so I decided to break my fast and went to the kitchen to drink water. I opened both fridges and they had no locks on them and were full with food enough for 30 people,” said the sister.

Her 63-year-old sister is charged with confinement and torture of the maid by locking her up without food or water.

The court was told the defendant fitted locks to the doors in her home, installed a fence on top of the garden wall and bars on the windows to prevent the maid from escaping.

“The fence was installed in 2009 after two maids invited a strange man into her house and took indecent pictures with him, she got scared as she lives alone and got the fence. We still have the pictures,” said the sister, adding that whenever she invited her sister out to lunch, she would prefer to stay home and cook for them and the maid.

“You are under oath,” the presiding judge told the sister, who responded: “I care much more about standing in the hands of God on judgement day than I care about my sister.”

An Emirati police lieutenant, 26, said the sister found the maid’s body at the defendant’s home in Bur Dubai and reported it to police

The maid was fully dressed and wearing her hijab when she was found on the floor in her room.

The officer said he grew suspicious after finding a blood trail on the stairs.

“We asked the defendant what happened. She said the maid fell and refused to answer our questions,” he said. Police records showed previous complaints against had been lodged against the defendant for abusing maids and several had absconded.

A report from the naturalisation and residency department requested she be banned from employing maids, the court was told.

An Emirati police captain, 29, testified old blood stains that had been cleaned up were also found all over the house.

The next hearing will be on May 2 to hear from a forensic expert.

salamir@thenational.ae

Source: uae news

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