'war zone' | 

Owner of apartment where three Egyptian men claim they were attacked denies assault

Counsel said that his client was "a stranger" to the alleged attack, and that Mr Ping did not manage the apartment

Aodhan O'FaolainSunday World

The owner of an apartment where three Egyptian men have claimed were violently assaulted by persons demanding that they vacate the premises has denied having any to do with the assault.

At the High Court today, lawyers for Mr Xia Ping He said he accepted that he owns the property at Tyrconnell Road, Inchicore, Dublin 8, but claims that he let it to another party, named in court as a Mr Tony Tan or Tony Lee.

Mr Tan/Lee, it is claimed, then sub-let it to the three plaintiffs, Mr Ping's counsel Padraic O'Neill Bl told Mr Justice Mark Sanfey.

Counsel said that his client was "a stranger" to the alleged attack, and that Mr Ping did not manage the apartment, which is located above a take-away operated by the defendant.

In proceedings brought in late December the three men say were badly injured were subjected to a prolonged assault by up to 20 men, who "broke wooden chairs" on their bodies and damaged their possessions.

They claim their apartment was left looking like "a war zone".

The sole purpose of the attack, the three men claim, is to get them to immediately vacate the property they have rented for over a year.

Arising out of the incident the three, Mostafa Elsayed Morshedy Elsayed Faraag, Gomaa Rashed Ahmed Arafa and Hussein Mohamed Hussein Mahmoud secured High Court injunction against the owner of the apartment Mr Xia Ping He.

The three obtained an order restraining Mr Ping and any other person who has notice of the order from assaulting threatening violence or intimidating them.

The order also prevents the defendant and any other party from trespassing at or damaging the plaintiffs' property at the apartment.

David O'Brien Bl, instructed by solicitor Ali Nezem, for the plaintiffs told Mr Justice Sanfey that discussions had taken place between the parties, resulting in some progress.

However, counsel said that his side remains concerned about some of the information furnished on the defendant's behalf, including matters about Mr Tony Han/Lee, whose address was given as Sackville

Place in Dublin 5, and his relationship with the defendant.

No affidavit in reply to his client's claims has been sworn by the defendant but accepted that one will be sworn in the next few days, counsel added.

Counsel said that the matter could be adjourned to allow Mr Ping to provide the affidavit and arising out of that his clients may seek to add Mr Han/Lee as a defendant to the proceedings.

Counsel said that there had been no repeat of the attack.

In reply, Mr O'Neill for Mr Ping, said his client had nothing to do with the management of the property which he says was let to Mr Han/Lee.

His client had nothing to do with the alleged attack on the plaintiffs, a video of which had been published by the media.

There had been widespread coverage of the matter, which had caused his client difficulty with a financial institution in an unrelated separate matter, counsel said.

Counsel said that the defendant met with the plaintiffs after the alleged assaults and had offered to help them out.

Counsel said his client is prepared to swear an affidavit in response to the claims.

Counsel added that it did not appear from the footage that as many persons were involved in the alleged attack on the plaintiffs as claimed and reminded the court that there are two sides to every story.

The court further heard that Mr Tan/Lee had been asked to attend Friday's hearing, but had refused to do so, and would only attend if ordered to by the court.

In their action the three plaintiff's claim that in October 2021 they entered into a tenancy arrangement for the apartment at Tyrconnell Road.

The agreement was for one year with an option to extend, they claim.

They paid the rent, in cash, to a person called 'Manu', the court also heard.

On the night of December 13th last the plaintiffs said that they were left shocked when the men forcibly entered their apartment and clearly demanded that the three plaintiffs vacate the apartment.

This was their sole purpose of their visit, and it is claimed that the group threatened to come back if they did not vacate the premises.

The ordeal came as a shock to them, and they understood from their rental agreement that they were entitled to 30 days-notice of the termination of that arrangement.

No such notice was given, they claim.

Mr Justice Sanfey noted that Mr Ping would furnish a sworn statement in the proceedings over the coming days. He adjourned the case to a date later this month with the injunction remaining in place.


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