Trial of five bloggers continues in Capital

ABU DHABI — Scores of Emiratis gathered in front of the Federal Supreme Court and raised slogans in support of the Rulers of the country on Monday as the third closed-door hearing in the case of a group of bloggers, accused of endangering the UAE’s security and undermining the public order, was held in Abu Dhabi on Monday.

By Anwar Ahmad

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Published: Tue 26 Jul 2011, 11:30 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 6:02 AM

According to an official at the FSC, the judges heard witnesses from both sides on Monday. No further details was revealed after the court session ended.

Abdul Hameed Al Kumaiti, lawyer of defendants at the FSC, said that next hearing will be held on September 26.

Around 1,000 Emiratis have registered during the past three hearings to shower their support for the Rulers, while over 340 nationals registered their names on Monday.

Ibrahim Al Tamimi, advocate and legal consultant who attended the second hearing at the FSC, said: “Today, the FSC judges are completing the hearings to all witnesses in the case.”

To a question, when the final judgement would come, Al Tamimi said: “As of now, all technical documents and witnesses are being heard. If the Public Prosecution does not produce further evidence or documents before the court, then finally, the court will pronounce its judgement. But I don’t know how much time it would take.

“According to the law, if the defendants (bloggers) are found guilty in the case, the maximum punishment is five-year jail term, but now we can not speculate as the charges are yet not established,” Al Tamimi said.

Similar to previous week’s hearing, a large number of Emiratis from different emirates gathered early morning on Monday in front of the FSC park and shouted slogans and recited poems in Arabic in praise of the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the UAE leadership.

Emiratis who registered in front of the court belong from different tribes in the country.

The first trial held here on June 13 and second on July 18.

Five bloggers were arrested in April accused of endangering the country’s security and undermining the public order. They are Ahmad Mansour Al Shehi, Nasser Ahmad Khalfan bin Ghaith, Fahd Salem Mohammed Salem Dalk, Hassan Ali Al Khamis —all Emiratis— and Ahmad Abdul Khaleq Ahmad, who does not carry identification papers.

Emiratis who started gathering outside the court since early in the morning shouted “We are all Khalifa, Khalifa is a red line” and condemning Al Shehi and his group as ‘traitors’.

Mohammed Khalid from Al Ain said: “We are supporting Shaikh Khalifa and the government of the country and condemning these people who are pursuing their own wills. This is not the popular voice of the country.

The government has given us everything to lead a good life from homes, funds, free education, health facilities, fund for marriage to many other benefits. Most of our loans are paid by the government. What else we want from the government,” Khalid said.

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