Egged bus 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
The Haifa District Court on Monday convicted a 42-yearold man from Kafr Manda in
the Western Galilee on charges of indecent assault and false imprisonment,
following an incident that took place on a bus in July 2010.
driver Muhammad Zuabi assaulted a 17-year-old schoolgirl after she boarded his
route 205 bus in Haifa, according to the indictment.
The girl asked Zuabi
whether he could stop the bus for her in the Mercaz Hacarmel residential
district of the city, where she could switch to another bus line to take her
home. There was only one other passenger on the bus at the time, the
However, when Zuabi reached the girl’s bus stop, he did
not stop to let her disembark and drove on to the next stop, where the other
passenger got off.
Zuabi then told the girl she was “beautiful,” the
indictment said, and added that he had noticed how she had kissed her boyfriend
at the bus stop.
According to the indictment, Zuabi then stopped the bus
and sat down on a passenger seat, asking the girl to join him.
refused, Zuabi indecently assaulted her. Only after some time did he drive back
to the girl’s neighborhood.
Judge Zaid Falah accepted the testimony of
the complainant, and rejected that of Zuabi, who denied the charges against him.
Zuabi’s testimony made “a bad impression [on the court],” the judge
Zuabi testified that when he missed the girl’s stop, she began
shouting and swearing at him until he opened the bus doors. The girl then
refused to disembark, so he drove on.
The girl told him she was too
frightened to get off the bus, Zuabi said, and asked him to take her back to
Ben-Gurion Street. He then offered to pay for a taxi for her.
touching or kissing the girl.
Zuabi will be sentenced at a later
Following Zuabi’s conviction, Egged spokesman Ron Ratner said the
driver had already been dismissed.
“At Egged, we will not tolerate these
types of events, and so when we learned that the driver was summoned to a
hearing and when we discovered the allegations against him had substance, he was
immediately dismissed from his job,” Ratner said.