Acquitted of Endangering Lives of Others

DUBAI - A Yemeni man has been acquitted of deliberately putting the lives of others at risk by bringing in a container of firecrackers to Jebel Ali Port after it was found that the shipment was intended for Djibouti.

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Published: Tue 7 Jul 2009, 3:36 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 7:55 PM

The Court of Appeal was presided by Judge Ayssar Fouad.

The counsel for the defendant argued that the shipment had been diverted because of piracy threats near Somalia and it’s diversion to Jebel Ali was not his responsibility.

The Court of Misdemeanours sentenced the 42-year-old Yemeni on April 1 this year to paying a fine of Dh5,000 and ordered the shipment be confiscated.

The defendant had pleaded not guilty to the charge — putting people’s lives at risk — throughout the trial.

Defence counsel Hani Hammouda argued that his client holding the shipment policy was not a reason to incriminate him.

“He was just assigned with the payment of the shipment expenses and fees and Customs clearance totalling Dh45,000,” Hammouda said.

Hammouda said the problem originated from an exchange of blame between the female Chinese director of the importing company (of the shipment) and the defendant.

“That director herself stated in the interrogations that the shipment was originally bound from China to Djibouti and not Dubai. Dubai was just supposed to be a transit stop. However, due to some administrative mistake the firecracker container landed in Jebel Ali Port,” he said.

“She submitted the shipment papers to the Customs officers stating that the defendant was the owner of the container. That turned out later to be untrue.

“He did not have anything to do with it. The importing company called him to rectify the mistake by getting the shipment policy and pay up the clearance fees and send the ship to Djibouti.”

According to the counsel, the shipment remained for an approximate period of five months at the port not out of bad intent.

“At the time, there was a widespread fear of the Somali pirates. So as the importing Chinese company was reluctant to take an initiative of moving the ship, the container stayed docked there,” the counsel added.

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