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Blasphemous message costs Dubai businessman Dh500,000

Defendant also jailed for threatening and offending former business partner after financial dispute

Gulf News

Dubai: A businessman, who threatened his former partner and sent him blasphemous and offensive SMSes over a financial dispute, has been fined Dh500,000.

The 39-year-old Lebanese businessman was involved in a business partnership with the Emirati man before they had a financial dispute in October.

After the two men failed to reach an amicable settlement, the Lebanese man sent several SMSes in which he cursed God and threatened the Emirati man.

The 39-year-old sent to the Emirati’s mobile three SMSes in which he offended the latter, threatened to harm him and cursed God as well.

On Tuesday, the Dubai Court of First Instance also jailed the Lebanese defendant for three months after convicting him of blasphemy and threatening the Emirati man.

The Lebanese accused had pleaded not guilty during trial. “I did not send him any blasphemous or offensive SMSes,” the accused told presiding judge Mohammad Jamal.

According to the primary judgement, the accused will be deported after serving the jail term.

The Emirati testified that the incident happened during the period when they had a business partnership.

“In October, he sent me three SMSes and cursed God in one of them. He also wrote in an SMS that he would teach me how to deal with people and treat them … he also said that he would get back his money in his own way,” the Emirati said.

The Emirati also stated that one of the SMSes read “you do what you want and I will do what I want but this I assure you that I am going to escalate the matter and let everybody know”.

The Lebanese admitted to prosecutors that he sent several messages of blasphemous nature and offensive SMSes as well following a financial dispute that he had with his former partner.

The primary ruling remains subject to appeal within 15 days.