Trio accused of trying to join terror groups

Abu Dhabi - The Emiratis are accused of trying to promote terror ideologies on social media platforms


Mustafa Al Zarooni

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Published: Wed 17 May 2017, 10:00 PM

Last updated: Thu 18 May 2017, 12:02 AM

The Abu Dhabi Federal Court of Appeals on Wednesday handled six cases related to state security and heard two pleadings by the defence lawyers.
The court reserved four other cases on the public prosecution's request, transferring the defendants to a counselling centre of the Ministry of Interior, to pronounce the verdict on May 31.
The court heard Defence attorney Salem Saeed, who defended his client A.A.A.Y., an Emirati, facing charges by the public and state security prosecution of attempting to join the terror group Daesh in Syria, and keeping in touch with elements in the nefarious group to facilitate his easy travel to Syria to join the outfit.
The defence lawyer said his client was arrested for allegedly possessing and consuming narcotics, and that he was also an addict, but not an aspiring terrorist. "My client was receiving psychiatric and physical treatment at a local addiction treatment centre," he told the court. "My client did not try to join any terror outfit; it was the public prosecution which accused him on the basis of deliriums caused by the state of addiction my client had been suffering from."
He added investigation did not present any concrete and material evidence that his client was communicating with any terror group, whether Daesh or Al Qaeda.
The defence attorney went further, submitting a medical certificate issued by the addiction treatment centre, stating that his client was undergoing treatment, and he demanded to summon the physician treating his client as a defence witness. He pressed for the acquittal of his client and for clearing the charges against him, asking that he instead stand trial for possessing and consuming narcotics and not for attempting to join Daesh.
Highlighting A.A.A.Y.'s health condition and addiction, he pleaded for extend maximum leniency from the court, which however called for reserving the case and pronouncing the verdict on June 13.
In the second case lawyer, the same lawyer defended his client KH.S.A.S., an Emirati aged 30, charged by the state security prosecution with attempting to join not one, but two terror outfits - the Al Qaeda and Daesh - in Syria and Iraq, while he was studying in the US. Other charges against him included attempts to promoting the thoughts and ideologies of the two terror organisations between some Emirati students in US, using his apartment to do the same.
In this case, the defence lawyer challenged that the Abu Dhabi Federal Court of Appeal is not competent to handle the case, since the incident happened outside the country. He said the prosecution failed to produce any concrete evidence during the investigation that might denote that his client had communicated with members of any terror group.
"My client is a top performing, excelling student and completed his university education successfully in the US. The students he met were no more than schoolmates," Saeed stated, demanding the acquittal of his client and the court to use the maximum degree of mercy, since the defendant is an outstanding student and did not perform any actions against the counter terrorism law. This case was also reserved for a ruling to June 13, 2017.
In another lawsuit, the Abu Dhabi appellate court looked into the indictment sheet handed over by the state security prosecution against a 40-year-old Emirati suspect identified as S.Th.M.M., who is accused of creating social media accounts including Twitter and Facebook, as well as groups on WhatsApp, to disseminate and post false information that promote the ideologies of two terror groups - Daesh and Ansar al-Sharia in Yemen.
The defendant stands accused of misusing the social media to attack and insult the leaders of Saudi Arabia and the UAE and offend the UAE's foreign policy, reputation and standing. The suspect is also accused of attempting to jeopardise relations between the UAE and Egypt, criticising the latter's policies, its leaders and its military that fight terror outfits in the Sinai Peninsula.
What they stand accused of.
. A.A.A.Y. (Emirati) - Attempting to join Daesh; defence lawyer argues he's a drug addict, not an aspiring terrorist
. KH.S.A.S. (Emirati) - Attempting to join Daesh and Al Qaeda, spreading terror ideologies; lawyer argues he's an outstanding student
. S.Th.M.M (Emirati) - Using social media platforms to promote Daesh and Ansar al-Sharia, attacking and criticising UAE, Saudi and Egyptian leaders; defence yet to be prepared

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