Acquitted person can’t be sued for damages

Tarik Nassar represents Jaíafar Alwan, Al Jaziri & Associates Readers may e-mail their questions to: ktedit@emirates.net.ae or send them to Khaleej Times, Dubai P.O Box 11243.

By Legal View By Tarik Nassar

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Published: Sun 18 Feb 2007, 9:45 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 2:33 AM

Q: I work as a warehouse manager in the Dubai Industrial Area. A year ago, the warehouse caught fire due to explosion of a gas cylinder. The fire also spread and caused damage to an adjoining warehouse whose owner lodged a complaint, accusing me of carelessness and irresponsibility. The complaint was referred to the Dubai Misdemeanour Court but the court acquitted me. The verdict was even confirmed by the Dubai Court of Appeal. Since then no one else has brought me to court. I’d like to know if the neighbouring warehouse owner can sue me for compensation.

A: The final irrevocable judgment passed in the favour of questioner, either on the grounds of his innocence or for lack of evidence, is binding on civil courts hearing related compensation suits, according to Article 269 of the Punitive Procedures Code, and Article 50 of the Proof Law.

The questioner was brought to the Misdemeanour Court but charges against him were proved and he was not held guilty. This absolves him from any responsibility. In view of that, the complainant warehouse owner is not entitled to sue the questioner for compensation. He had been acquitted and hence cannot be ordered to pay any compensation.

Dud cheque

Q: A workmate of mine introduced me to a vehicle dealer whom I sold my car for Dh85,000. I took Dh10,000 in cash, a Dh75,000 post dated cheque, which later proved to be dud.

On enquiry, the dealer told me that he was suffering a financial crisis and promised to pay the money in a month.

I later knew that my co-worker did collect a commission on the deal. He was also fully aware that the merchant’s cheque would be dishonoured. Am I entitled to charge the dealer and my colleague with fraud and racketeering?

How am I supposed to get my money back?

A: Fraud crime, as per article 399 of the Federal Penal Code, means that a criminal purposefully misled and racketeered a victim using fraudulent means such as, posing in the name, position or capacity of some one else, or by abusing the money of another person.

It also includes a promise of bogus project or benefit and so forth. In other words, claims and allegations are not enough for an act to be considered a crime of fraud.

Therefore, courts here do not consider a dud cheque a fraud. The dealer and your colleague do not show any racketeering.

As such, you cannot accuse them of fraud. Nonetheless, you can sue only the dealer for giving you a dud cheque. You can also seek compensation against the damages you suffered.

-Compiled by Ahmed Shaaban



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