94 Emirati suspects are referred to the Federal Supreme Court as part of the case relating to the organisation which sought to seize power in the country
The first court hearing of a group of Emiratis charged with threatening national security begins at the State Security Court. Public Prosecution accuses the suspects of establishing and managing an organisation called “Al Islah Group”, which aims to overthrow the government and destabilise security. The Prosecution demands that the suspects receive maximum penalties according to articles 117, 180 (first sector), and 182 — life sentence.
Six prosecution witnesses tell a State Security Court of “further evidence” to confirm the relation between a clandestine group formed in the UAE and the international Muslim Brotherhood organisation
A key prosecution witness presents six audio and video recordings of what he says were secret meetings that took place in the past two years in the homes of three defendants. One suspect was calling for an uprising similar to those that took place in some Arab states as part of the so-called Arab Spring.
The first witness who takes the stand from the National Security Agency testifies that investigations and inquiries carried out in 2010 led the investigators to conclude that there was a clandestine organisation that was fully operational in the country.
A group of Emirati defendants on trial at the State Security Court challenge prosecution evidence that their voices matched those heard on taped telephone conversations. Defence witnesses claim the accusations against the 94 Emirati defendants are “baseless” and that the accused had “merely called for reforms”. During the hearing, the court reviews reports submitted by Dubai Police’s forensic laboratory on matching the voices and images in the evidence with the accused as well as reports submitted by financial experts and engineers appointed by the court to examine the financial status of the Islah Society, to which many of the accused had belonged before it was disbanded a few years ago.
The Supreme Court’s state security court rules that all documents, investigation records and prosecution orders as well as copies of the UAE Penal Code be immediately handed over to the group accused of plotting to overthrow the government at the eighth session of the hearing.
The judge orders that the accused should be kept in suitable correctional facilities, according to UAE law after complaints by a number of accused who told the court that they were being kept in solitary confinement.
The session examines the Dubai Police forensic laboratory report that matched the voices of the accused with audio files collected as evidence of a secret meeting held on April 1, 2011.
State Security Court sees the final argument of the Public Prosecution in the trial. Prosecution detais the list of charges, which say that members of “the clandestine organisation were planning to recruit 20,000 members within four years [to] overthrow the government, [and that] this group was made in order to destabilise the national security”.
The prosecution adds that the accused, many of whom belong to the now banned Al Islah Society, “communicated with foreign agencies and received financial support, as well as political support, from the Muslim Brotherhood organisations in Egypt and Qatar”.
The final defence session is held to hear pleas from four of the accused men and three lawyers. During their defence pleas, the suspects question the process by which they were arrested, interrogated, searched by the Attorney-General’s office, and by the national security Attorney-General’s office.
The prime suspect, a lawyer, starts to plead in his own defence. He allege that proper procedures were not followed when he was arrested and that he was transported to solitary confinement.
In his appeal, he states that the prosecution has made up accusations and put words in the suspects’ mouth that they didn’t say. He also accuses the prosecution’s procedures of being illogical and not serious, particularly as he discusses the prosecution’s sources of information. At the end of his appeal, the suspect says he is innocent and denies all accusations against him and against the other suspects he represents.
Thirty people accused of illegally establishing and running a branch of the international organisation of the Muslim Brotherhood in the UAE have been referred to the Federal Supreme Court, a senior State Security Prosecutor says. Members of the group, both Egyptians and Emirati, are also accused of attempting to recruit new members to the Muslim Brotherhood and to maintain continued loyalty of members in the UAE to the leadership of the international group.