Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi Federal Court of Appeals on Wednesday adjourned the hearing in a terror-related case and a cybercrime case to September 27.
In the first case, a citizen of a Gulf country, identified as S.S.M.S., was charged with publishing information and material on social media to promote terrorist ideology.
The court heard testimonies of a prosecution witness — a security officer.
The officer told the court that the defendant had set up groups on the social media to exchange information meant to promote terrorist ideology, harm the UAE’s relationships with other Arab countries and invite young people to join terrorist organisations.
The witness presented to the court a report about the outcome of examining the defendant’s computers and cell phones, and said it contained evidence that proved the charges against the defendant.
The defendant’s lawyer, Hamdan Al Zeyoudi, was later permitted to cross examine the witness and ask him questions.
Al Zeyoudi told the court that the witness contradicted findings of the criminal laboratory’s report on examination of the defendant’s equipment.
The presiding judge then adjourned the hearing to September 27, when the testimony of a second prosecution witness will be heard.
In the second case, an Arab woman, charged with insulting Ajman Police on the internet, had her hearing adjourned to September 27 when a ruling will be handed down.
The woman, A.N.M.S., had reportedly posted a video on Snapchat, insulting the Ajman Police.
The woman admitted to posting the video clip, but said she did not intend to insult the police.
The UAE has strict laws against cybercrimes. UAE Cybercrime Law No. 5 of 2012 includes a range of violations and penalties, with fines ranging from Dh50,000 to Dh3 million depending on the type and severity of offence.
The law states the crime of slander determined by the Sharia shall be punished by imprisonment and a fine of not less than Dh250,000 and not in excess of Dh500,000 or either of these two penalties for whoever insults or accuses another person of a matter of which he shall be subject to punishment or being held in contempt by others, by using a computer network or an information technology means. If a slander or insult is committed against a public official or servant in the course of or because of his work, this shall be considered an aggravating factor of the crime, according to the law.
Those caught gaining access to a website, network or system without authorisation are to be imprisoned and fined at least Dh50,000, but fines can go as high as Dh1 million if personal information is stolen or deleted.
Those caught using technology to invade someone else’s privacy — which can even include eavesdropping, copying photos or publishing news — can be jailed for six months and face fines of Dh150,000 to Dh300,000.
The most severe penalty — five years in jail and a Dh3 million fine — is reserved for those who run malicious software that causes a network or IT system to stop functioning “or results in crashing, deletion, omission, destruction and alteration of the programme, system, website, data or information”.