The surviving maid, a Filipina, alleged that the 45-year-old Emirati woman, R.M., beat them with sticks while naked, banged their heads against the wall until they bled and forced her to drink cleaning products. She told the court her Ethiopian colleague was so hungry she searched for food in the garbage.
Prosecution records said the severity of the torture and conditions of their confinement led to the Ethiopian’s death and caused the 29-year-old Filipina, E.K. to suffer severe injuries. Dubai Police’s forensic expert, who examined the injuries of the Ethiopian, K.J., confirmed that she had been tortured consistently for more than a month.
The examiner said keeping K.J. without medication worsened her health and caused her to develop pneumonia. “The fact that she was made to drink a pesticide quickened her death,” said the examiner.
According to the charge sheet, prosecutors said R.M. also failed to provide the maids with medical care that led to K.J.’s death while the Filipina suffered serious injuries. Prosecutors charged R.M.’s Emirati husband, A.F., with aiding and abetting his wife by preparing a room at the top of his villa and sealing its windows from outside to confine the maids.
The Emirati husband and his wife entered a not guilty plea when they defended themselves before the Dubai Court of First Instance. “No, I am not guilty,” A.F. told the court.
Meanwhile, his wife, R.M., said with a jittery voice: “No… that did not happen. I swear to God. I did not touch the maids. I knew nothing about their injuries.”
Presiding judge Ali Atiyyah Sa’ad rejected R.M.’s bail request and adjourned the trial to hear witnesses on July 1. The husband remains out on bail.
The Filipina testified that R.M. once forced her to drink Chlorox mixed with Dettol because she disapproved of the way she cleaned the bathroom.
“She did not feed us properly and kept us locked up inside the room for long periods. She used to beat us with sticks until they broke on our bodies. She constantly claimed that she had a VIP job and threatened to send me to jail because her husband worked in the court. Her brutality and torture made me consider absconding… but I failed to do so because we were confined all the time. She prevented me from calling my parents. Most of the time K.J. and I were not allowed to speak to each other.
“She beat us brutally and used to bang our heads against the walls until we bled. She used to remove our clothes and force us into the washroom where she would take pictures of us naked and threaten to send them to our friends. One day K.J. was so hungry that she had to look for something to eat from the garbage. Four days before her death, K.J. fell very ill… she couldn’t walk or talk or go to the bathroom. R.M. insisted on not taking the Ethiopian to hospital although I warned her and begged her to do so. When it was too late and K.J died, the defendant [R.M.] offered me huge amounts of money to keep my mouth shut,” said E.K.
R.M.’s countrywoman friend testified that she spotted the woman suspect beating and torturing the maids over different occasions.
The husband was quoted admitting that they confined the maids to prevent them from absconding. He also told prosecutors that his wife was a very nervous person and a troublemaker.