UAE | Courts

F-word case: Director jailed for insulting etisalat employee

Court convicts defendant of using derogatory phrase although he pleaded innocent

  • By Bassam Za’za’, Legal and Court Correspondent
  • Published: 19:51 November 14, 2013
  • Gulf News

Dubai: A director has been sentenced to a month in jail for swearing at an etisalat employee.

The Dubai Misdemeanour Court found the 43-year-old Canadian director guilty of insulting the Egyptian employee. The 29-year-old employee claimed the defendant told him f*** you when the latter came to carry out a transaction at etisalat’s counter at Mirdif City Centre.

The defendant pleaded not guilty in court.

Meanwhile his lawyer Uday Al Kazwini of Dar Al Balagh Advocates and Legal Consultants, argued that his client used a metaphorical expression when he said f*** off and not f*** you.

“F*** off is not an insult in Canada but f*** you is. The first phrase is commonly used when a person expresses himself/herself figuratively and asks another person, who angered them, to walk away.”

Al Kazwini aid that the term f*** off is commonly used during tense moments but doesn’t have to be considered an insult.

“The victim alleged that my client told him f*** you … but my client did not use that term. My client admitted that he said f*** off and he meant to ask the claimant to leave him alone.”

Al Kazwini provided the court with a document issued from a legal translator verifying the difference between the two phrases.

According to the translator’s document, the phrase [f*** you] is commonly deemed as an insult meanwhile the phrase f*** off doesn’t figuratively mean or has to be an insult. In his document, the legal translator recommended that the second phrase (f*** off) should be translated as a whole phrase and not literally.

However the presiding judge, according to Thursday’s verdict sheet, considered that the defendant insulted the claimant by saying f*** you to him and calling him useless.

“Based on the statements of prosecution witnesses and the victim, the court considers that the defendant insulted the victim … and his act is punishable by law. He will be jailed for one month,” read the verdict sheet.

Al Kazwini said his client lodged a complaint against the Egyptian accusing him of threatening to kill him. The defendant is expected to appeal the verdict within the 15-day legal period to do so.

Records said an Emirati engineer confirmed his Egyptian colleague’s statement.

The defendant told prosecutors that the incident happened when he went to check why he wasn’t receiving his bills.

“The claimant treated me with disrespect and in an unacceptable manner. I told him f*** off and not f*** you,” said the defendant.

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