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Brotherhood-linked group in UAE to be tried this week

Suspects accused of plotting against state face up to 10 years

Abu Dhabi: The trial of 94 Emiratis charged with threatening national security and forming a clandestine organisation aimed at overthrowing the government, is set to begin on Monday at the Federal Supreme Court, sources close to the case told Gulf News on Saturday.

“The trial will be presided over by Chief Justice Falah Al Hajiri of the State Security Court,” the sources said.

The suspects, who include some 70 men and more than a dozen women, will stand trial on charges of violating article 180 of the UAE Penal Code, which bans the formation of any organisation aimed at overthrowing, seizing or opposing the basic principles of the country.

If convicted, they will face up to 10 years in jail. Rulings of the Federal Supreme Court cannot be appealed and are “final and binding upon everyone,” as per the UAE Constitution.

The suspects are also accused of “belonging to or supporting Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood movement”, which came to power in the largest Arab country following the fall of the Hosni Mubarak regime in February 2011.

The sources said the trial will be basically public, but it is up to the judge to decide otherwise.

“The Chief Justice of the State Security Court will look into any request to hold the hearing behind closed doors with only suspects, their lawyers and witnesses attending, to protect any classified information,” the sources said.

Women not detained

The women involved in the case, who will go on trial, are not being detained.

They had been summoned for interrogation and were released, a statement by the General Attorney said last month. A number of the 94 suspects are still at large.

The suspects reportedly belonged to Al Islah, a movement linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, operated across the UAE and had influence in ministries of Education, Higher Education and Justice in the 1980s.