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UAE state security trial sees suspect in tears

Judge lauds precise answers provided by one the female defendants

Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Monday’s court session amid the continuing state security case in the UAE witnessed sombre scenes as one of the female suspects, who chose to represent herself, broke into tears while presenting her appeal and then after she had completed her statement.

The session started at 10:35am in the presence of 19 journalists, 8 representatives from various civil society organisations, 94 male suspects, and 12 female suspects. One of the female suspects has gone abroad for medical treatment.

At the beginning of the session, Presiding Judge Falah Al Hajiri requested the suspects who had sought to defend themselves, to remain focused only on the accusations against them rather than blaming the Public Prosecution or offending any of its members.

As one of the suspects began to testify, the judge asked him, “Is this the first time your are defending yourself? Weren’t you also appealing last week?”. The suspect replied, “No, your honour. This is the first time I am defending myself in front of the court.”

During the trial, Judge Al Hajiri made particular mention of the exemplary manner in which a female suspect had conducted herself in court. The judge thanked the suspect, asking others to appeal as she had done — by being short and to the point in their statements. The judge asked the woman if her husband was among the suspects, to which she promptly replied, “Of course not! Thank God for that.” Her answer evoked laughter from the courtroom audience and the judge.

During the hearing of another female suspect, she told the judge that she had received information from state security officials stating that she had been caught mistakenly instead of another person with the same name. The suspect then claimed that state security had arrested both persons bearing the same name as she demanded that she be immediately released in view of the circumstances surrounding her arrest.