A judge has allowed three Egyptian men who were allegedly violently assaulted by people demanding they vacate the Dublin apartment they rent to add an additional defendant to their High Court proceedings.
The three men previously secured an injunction preventing the owner of the property, Xia Ping He, from threatening violence against them or damaging their possessions at the apartment.
Mr Ping He denies having anything to do with the attack.
He says he owns the property at Tyrconnell Road, Inchicore, Dublin, but claims to have let the property to another party, Tony Tang Le, or Tony Lee, with addresses at Leeson Street Lower and Sackville Place in Dublin.
Mr Ping He alleges Mr Tang Le/Lee sublet the apartment to Mostafa Elsayed Morshedy Elsayed Faraag, Gomaa Rashed Ahmed Arafa and Hussein Mohamed Hussein Mahmoud, who work as painters and decorators.
When the matter returned before the High Court on Tuesday, Mr Justice Brian O’Moore granted the three men’s lawyers permission to add Mr Tang Le/Lee as an additional defendant to their action.
Barrister David O’Brien, instructed by RNL solicitors for the plaintiffs, said while there was consent to Mr Tang Le/Lee being joined, his clients did have concerns over certain matters that arose out of the exchange of documents between his clients and Mr Ping He.
Counsel said his side was seeking to have Mr Ping He cross-examined at a later stage of the proceedings.
Counsel agreed with Mr Justice O’Moore that it would be unusual for a party to be cross-examined before the full hearing of a trial.
In reply, barrister Pauric O’Neill, for Mr Ping He, said the issues raised by the plaintiffs could be addressed and explained in a further sworn statement.
The judge agreed to adjourn the matter to a date next month, with the injunction to remain in place.
In proceedings commenced in late December, the three Egyptian men claim they were badly injured when subjected to a prolonged assault on December 13th last 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.
It is claimed the group threatened to come back if the Egyptians did not leave. They claim they entered into a tenancy arrangement for the apartment in October 2021.
The agreement was for one year with an option to extend, they claim. They paid the rent in cash.
Arising out of their rental agreement, they claim they were entitled to 30 days’ notice of the termination of that arrangement, but no such notice was given.
In reply, Mr Ping He says he had nothing to do with either the management of the property, which he says was let to Mr Tang Le/Tee, or the alleged attack on the plaintiffs, a video of which was published in the media.
His lawyers told the court he met the plaintiffs after the alleged assaults and offered to help them out.