Expat sentenced to life imprisonment by Abu Dhabi court over terror charges

The 22-year-old Pakistani was convicted of attempted murder with the intent of committing a terrorist act

A Pakistani expat in the UAE has been sentenced to life imprisonment by the Abu Dhabi Federal Appeal court over terror charges, official news agency WAM reported.

The 22-year-old Pakistani was convicted of attempted murder with the intent of committing a terrorist act, after he was found guilty of burning eight cars and a residential villa in one of the emirates.

The state security prosecutor charged him with committing crimes to destabilise the country’s security and for violating anti-terrorism laws.

The total prison sentence issued against him by the court was 40 years after he confessed to all the charges, WAM said.

The court ordered him to serve a jail term of 15 years followed by deportation while obliging him to cover all the costs of the case, the report added.

In another verdict, the Abu Dhabi Federal Appeal court also referred six Emiratis, aged between 20 and 25 years, to a counselling centre after the prosecutor charged them of committing acts of terrorism.

It also ordered the confiscation of their passports for six months to prevent them from travelling during the counselling period. They will also be placed under security surveillance, WAM reported.

In a third case, the state security prosecutor charged a 59-year-old Iranian of committing a ‘hostile act against a foreign country’.

The manager of a commercial company that imports and exports to other countries, he allegedly imported a device from abroad to use it in the UAE. However, he was accused of later exporting the device to Iran, “violating international sanctions”.

The accused denied the charges against him in court, and his lawyer demanded a deferral for review to prepare a statement for his client.

Hence the court postponed the case to July 29 to hear the defence’s appeal.

In a fourth case heard at the Abu Dhabi court, the prosecutor charged four Arab men residing in the UAE of attempting to join ISIL by travelling to Turkey from the Emirates.

The men, aged between 35 and 38, were also accused of planning to further travel to Syria to join the training camps of the militant organisation.

The prosecutor also claimed that the men established accounts on social media and WhatsApp within the UAE to promote the ideas of ISIL and encourage youth to join the terrorist organisation.

They were also accused of spreading articles, pictures, videos and news to promote the ideas of ISIL and offend another Gulf country, jeopardising the UAE’s relations with this country, WAM reported.

The court also heard that the men possessed live ammunition used for firing weapons, without an official licence.

The defendants denied all the charges, and their defence lawyers requested a postponement to review the investigation and prepare a statement.

The court postponed the case for hearing on July 19.