UAE court sentences six Lebanese to jail in Hezbollah trial

The defendants, who have lived and worked in the UAE for more than 15 years, were arrested in late 2017 and early 2018

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The UAE on Wednesday jailed six Lebanese men, four of them for life, for setting up a terrorist cell with links to Lebanon’s Hezbollah, the state news agency WAM reported.

The UAE Federal Court sentenced two of the six men to 10 years each in jail and acquitted five others, WAM said.

The UAE, along with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait classified Hezbollah as a terrorist organization in 2016 and warned its citizens and resident expatriates against any links to it.

The 11 defendants, all of them Shi’ite Muslims who have lived and worked in the UAE for more than 15 years, were arrested in late 2017 and early 2018. They were charged in February with establishing a cell linked to the Hezbollah group, backed by Shi’ite Iran.

UAE media previously said the group had been accused of plotting under Hezbollah orders to bomb a “vital facility” in the oil-exporting Gulf state.

A UAE court sentenced seven people to up to life in prison in 2016 for setting up a Hezbollah-linked cell.