Man who claimed Scot had indecently touched him in Dubai drops complaint
Jamie Haron, 27, has been stripped of his passport and faces a three-year sentence over allegations he touched a leading businessman’s hip in a bar in the UAE.
Emad Tabaza called the police and claimed Mr Harron had been “very drunk” and “repeatedly” touched him during the incident in July.
It has now emerged that the German businessman dropped the complaint after realising the punishment Mr Harron is facing.
But prosecutors are still taking the case forward.
And Mr Tabaza, the managing director of global technology firm Neuman & Esser, is said to have received death threats following the incident.
Mr Harron, from Stirling, Scotland, has already been sentenced to a month in prison and fined 2,000 dirhams (£412) for drinking and making a rude gesture.
He is due to be sentenced on another charge of public indecency, in which he claims to have touched Mr Tabaza’s hip to avoid spilling his drink.
Mr Harron will appear in court on October 22 and could face three years in prison if found guilty.
A spokesman for Neuman & Esser confirmed Mr Tabaza has dropped the complaint.
In a statement issued on behalf of the businessman, he 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 typical laws for the country, this does not automatically result in the termination of the proceedings as, for example, very likely in England or Germany.”
Mr Harron claims to have placed his hand on Mr Tabaza’s hip in a crowded bar to stop his drink being spilled.
But Mr Tabaza has given a different account of the incident.
The company spokesman said: “During a private visit to a club in Dubai, one of our employees was touched by the suspect on the thigh several times.
“As opposed to contrary descriptions, this was not in a crowd and on the hip, but actually at around 7.30pm - therefore at a time when the club was not highly frequented by visitors. This is confirmed by several witnesses.
“Our employee emphatically, but politely, requested the clearly drunk suspect to refrain from this.
“The security staff which observed the incident, played down the incident and did not undertake any further measures against the very drunk guest who continued to behave aggressively towards our employee.
“Following this, our employee requested to see the manager in order to safeguard his interests as a club guest. The security staff informed him that the manager was not available.
“On strength of this, our employee deemed it necessary to call the police who then took corresponding measures.
“The situation would not otherwise have been controllable, particularly as the drunk suspect still took an aggressive stance.
“Calling the police served de-escalation of the situation.
“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. As a result, the police arrested him.”
Radha Stirling, CEO of Detained In Dubai, the NGO who is leading the campaign to help Mr Harron, described the statement as an “exercise in public relations.”
She said: “This response is far from the statement of fact that I have received from the respondent.
“While legally it is possible that the complaint could proceed in the absence of the support from the complainant, this is highly unlikely.
“Jamie’s breathalyzer test indicated that he had only consumed three beers and was not acting in a drunken manner.
“He has a further four witnesses to confirm his behaviour, including the bar’s own security staff.
“This response appears that it is designed to protect the reputation of the company who is currently under Twitter fire and unlikely to represent reality.
“It is an exercise in public relations.”
The incident occurred at the Rock Bottom Bar in Dubai -- a popular venue for young people in the Tecom area of Dubai.
Mr Harron has spent over £32,000 in expenses and legal fees trying to resolve the matter, lost his job, and has also been stripped of his documents.
The electrician, who is from Stirling, Scotland, was in Dubai on a two-day stopover as he was flying back to work in Afghanistan in July.
He spent five days in prison, is currently out on bail, but is facing a three-year sentence.
Ms Stirling added: “It is surprising that they would take such a position, considering the fact that their employee himself has already sought to drop the charges in this case.
“It is clear to all parties that this got blown out of proportion, and it is only the Dubai Public Prosecutor’s office that is insisting on pursuing it as a criminal matter.
“Neumann & Esser would be better advised to support a de-escalation of this dispute rather than dig their heels in on a matter which both sides ‘appear to want dismissed.’”