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UAE Muslim Brotherhood case: Verdict on January 21

The State Security Court at the Federal Supreme Court on Tuesday adjourned the trial of the Muslim Brotherhood cell in UAE to January 21

 Abu Dhabi: The State Security Court at the Federal Supreme Court on Tuesday adjourned the trial of the Egyptian-Emirati branch of the Muslim Brotherhood to January 21, 2014, when it is expected to announce a verdict.
The verdict is not subject to appeal.

Tuesday’s trial heard the closing argument from the main defence lawyer, Abdul Hamid Al Kumaiti, who represents 19 of the Egyptian and Emirati suspects who pleaded not guilty and requested all charges be dropped based on lack of ‘hard’ evidence, falsified information, weak testimonies from eyewitnesses, and that all the arrests were made without a warrant.

The Public Prosecution had earlier requested the court to hand down the maximum sentence of ten years against the 30-member clandestine Egyptian-Emirati group, accused of establishing and operating a secret cell of the Muslim Brotherhood in the UAE.

The charges included stealing and embezzlement of confidential information belonging to government entities, creating and running a clandestine organisation that is banned in the UAE, and gathering money illegally to serve the organisation.
Presiding Judge Mohammad Abdul Rahman Al Tunaiji ordered the defence team to submit its final written closing argument within one week.

The fifth session of the trial heard the closing statement of Al Kumaiti that continued for almost two hours and 45 minutes.

‘Identical confessions’

In Al Kumaiti’s closing statement, he accused the prosecution of falsifying information and explained in detail how each of the defendant’s confessions and testimonies were identical and also included the same mistakes.

He said that out of all the 3,000 meetings in which his clients were accused of having, there was no hard evidence of them taking place, “and the prosecution could not provide one phone call as proof that [the defendants] belonged to the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Al Kumaiti also explained that even though the prosecution claimed that the Egyptian-Emirati group were accused of sending money to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt during the presidential election campaign, there were no paper trails either from a bank or a money exchange centre that could confirm those allegations.
Al Kumaiti’s argument focused on the charge of stealing confidential and classified government, and rebutted these claims by instead saying the security officer who handed the flash disk to the prime suspect who worked at Hatta Sports Club was negligent.

“[The defendants] did not embezzle the information but were given it. All the information on the flash disk was not classified because it was also given to the offices of eight lawyers and three prisons. If it were that important, they would not have allowed everybody to see it,” he said.

Al Kumaiti said that according to a report issued by a forensic expert from Dubai Police’s criminal laboratory, none of the suspects had the confidential government information on their mobile phones, laptops or desktop computers, and there was no trace that it had been erased from the device’s memory.

“The security officer carelessly gave the flash disk [to my client] without a second doubt, and did not warn him that it contained classified government information,” he said.

The testimonies of the three eyewitnesses that were called at the beginning of the trial were also refuted, as Al Kumaiti argued that the information they provided was forged.

The witnesses, who were security officers, at first did not have any information about the suspects such as their names, ages or home addresses. When they returned from a short break, the witnesses were then able to provide the court with details, which were then included in their testimony.

“In all my years as a lawyer, I have never seen an eyewitness read from a piece of paper,” he added.