Dubai: A professional footballer, who plays in UAE’s second division, has been cleared of flashing his finger in the face of a student following a road rage incident.
The Emirati student claimed the 28-year-old footballer, from the Ivory Coast, gave her the high beam when she was driving and almost rammed into her car from the back before he overtook her from the right then gave her the finger.
However the Dubai Appeal Court on Thursday overruled the footballer’s one-month imprisonment and acquitted him for lack of substantiated evidence.
The suspect’s acquittal came after his lawyer Eisa Bin Haidar convinced the appellate court that prosecutors failed to produce substantiated evidence against the footballer.
“The primary court based its judgment on the claimant’s statement. Prosecutors failed to produce any valid evidence against the suspect. He did not flash his middle finger. He only signalled his hand in a way that meant ‘why did the student not give him way when he gave her the high beam’” contended Bin Haidar.
The Misdemeanour Court earlier convicted the suspect of committing a lewd act in public and sentenced him to one month in jail followed by deportation.
The student alleged that the suspect was speeding and almost crashed into her vehicle from the back last April.
“He flashed for me the high beam wanting me to give him way. He chased my car until I reached my college. Then he overtook me from the right and let down his window before he flashed his middle finger. I reported the matter to the police,” the student claimed.
The suspect denied the allegations.
Advocate Bin Haidar told the appellate court: “An eye witness dismissed the woman’s allegations and claimed during police questioning that the suspect didn’t commit any lewd act. The witness confirmed that the suspect flashed for the woman and asked her why she didn’t give him way. Strangely, the Misdemeanour Court refused to hear the witness’s statement. We ask the court to clear our client or summon the witness to hear his statement.”
Court judgment should be based on clear-cut evidence and not only dubious statements, argued Bin Haidar.
Presiding Judge Saeed Salem Bin Sarm cancelled the one-month imprisonment and deportation and acquitted the footballer.
Thursday’s judgment remains subject to appeal within 15 days.