Dubai: An Australian medic in the Allied Joint Forces Command in Afghanistan has been fined Dh2,000 for swearing at and dishonouring an airport policeman, ruled the Dubai Misdemeanours Court.
Pronouncing the judgment on Wednesday, Presiding Judge Abdullah Khlaif Abu Zaid convicted the 32-year-old Australian, S.M., who did not attend the hearing, of swearing at an Iranian policeman.
"I am not guilty," argued S.M. when he defended himself in court last week and denied slandering and dishonouring the policeman at Dubai International Airport's arrivals hall.
His lawyer Nasser Hashim, of Al Kamaly Advocates, defended: "My client flew into Dubai coming on a long flight from Afghanistan, where he works as a medical supplies officer with the Allied Joint Forces Command… he came here in transit and was heading to London. He headed to the ATM machines at the arrivals hall when the policeman intercepted his way… my client didn't intend to dishonour or swear at the policeman. Besides, the policeman gave a contradicting statement."
Prosecutors charged the Australian, who also worked as a medical officer in the multinational force in Iraq in 2006, with cursing at the policeman, H.R., and calling him bad names.
Advocate Hashim told the jury: "The suspect is a respectful man. He didn't have any criminal intent. The Australian Consulate in Dubai issued an apology letter in which it expressed its respect and appreciation to Dubai police and its staff …" The lawyer handed the court a copy of the Consulate's apology letter.
When questioned by prosecutors, S.M. testified: "I arrived from Afghanistan at 8:15pm. When I headed to the ATM machines, a man in a blue uniform blocked my way. He said no and then I said ‘what the F…' I was taken into police custody and my passport was confiscated. I did what I did because I was fatigued, [tense] and pressured following a tiring flight. I was unaware that the arrivals hall was a restricted zone."
The Iranian policeman told prosecutors: "He just said he wanted to go into the arrivals hall without saying why. I told him he needed permission. Then he asked me about my supervisor before swearing in front of others. He cursed me and called [me] bad names."
Hashim contended: "The evidence submitted against S.M. was unfounded. My client had just arrived from a long and tiring flight after which the incident happened… he didn't mean to slander the claimant."
The primary sentence is still subject to appeal within 15 days.