German: I dropped touching complaint against Dubai Scot
Businessman withdrew allegation over severity of punishment - but prosecutors went ahead anyway
DUBAI prosecutors are pressing ahead with a public indecency case against a Scot – despite the businessman who made the claim dropping the complaint.
Jamie Harron, 27, has been stripped of his passport and faces three years in jail over allegations that he touched Emad Tabaza’s thigh in a bar.
The Scot says he only touched his hip to avoid spilling his drink.
It has emerged that Tabaza, the managing director of technology firm Neuman & Esser Gulf, dropped the complaint after considering the punishment Harron could face.
Prosecutors are taking the case forward – but Harron hopes Tabaza’s intervention may persuade them to drop the charges.
Tabaza is said to have received death threats following the incident.
In a statement issued on behalf of the German businessman, a spokesman for Neuman & Esser said: “With a certain distance from the incident and the punishment to be expected for the suspect, our employee decided to withdraw the complaint, despite the harassment having been confirmed by several witnesses.
“However, according to the laws for the country, this does not automatically result in the termination of the proceedings.”
The company spokesman said Tabaza called police after he was touched on the thigh several times. The businessman claimed the Scot was “clearly drunk” and aggressive.
The spokesman added: “After the police arrived, the suspect repeated the process several times (touching our employee’s thigh) in front of both police officers and explained that such conduct is commonplace in Europe.” In a separate charge, Harron, from Stirling, has already been sentenced to a month in prison and fined 2000 dirhams (£412) for drinking and making a rude gesture.
He is on bail and due to appear in court in Dubai on the public indecency charge on October 22.
Radha Stirling, of Detained In Dubai, who are leading a campaign to help Harron, said yesterday: “Jamie is quite hopeful he will get back now but we won’t hear back until the hearing on October 22.
“The case has prompted 80 messages an hour of support and has even prompted calls for a boycott of the UAE over its treatment of expats and tourists.
“It is clear to all parties that this got blown out of proportion.”
The alleged incident happened when Harron, an electrician, was in Dubai on a two-day stopover before flying back to work in Afghanistan in July.
ON BAIL Jamie Harron