Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi Court of Appeal has overturned a ruling issued by the Abu Dhabi Court of First Instance against a woman aged 40, who is the daughter of an Emirati but does not hold the nationality of the UAE, stipulating that she be deported on charges of entering the country illegally without a passport or entry visa with her.
The Court of Appeal ruled that, “A foreigner may not be sentenced to deportation if at the time of committing the crime, he or she was a spouse or a first-degree relative of a UAE citizen, unless the sentence was issued for a crime affecting the security of the state”.
The woman’s lawyer at the Court of Appeal, Ali Al Abbadi, said the ruling of the Court of First Instance was annulled and thanked the Court of Appeal for applying the legal provisions in such cases and returning the girl to her family who hold UAE nationality.
Al Abbadi said, “This case has several aspects and humanitarian dimensions. The UAE law takes into account such humanitarian matters. It is true that the woman made a mistake by trying to obtain her sister’s passport, but she is the daughter of an Emirati citizen who holds the nationality of the UAE. Since the woman’s father holds the nationality of the UAE, the ruling of the Court of First Instance of deporting her from the country is considered legally null and void, according to the interpretation of the operative ruling, because it is not permissible by law to deport a person if he or she is a spouse or a first-degree relative of an Emirati citizen.”
The competent authorities held the woman when she was trying to leave the country on a passenger bus heading to a Gulf country with the UAE passport of her sister, and upon examination it was found that she was impersonating, did not carry official papers and had entered the country illegally, without having an entry visa or permit or residency permit. No information was found about her indicating that she had entered the country legally.
Al Abbadi said, “The Public Prosecution referred the client to trial as a foreigner, and had illegally infiltrated and entered the country, without a valid passport and a valid visa, and that she had previously tried to illegally leave the country.”
The accused was brought out of her prison cell before the Court of First Instance and was questioned through a translator. The woman confessed to the two accusations against her, and claimed that her father brought her into the country when she was young, and she had tried to leave the country not knowing the exit procedures. She claimed that during her exit, she was held. She asked for clemency from the court.
The Court of First Instance ruled to convict the accused and punish her with one month’s imprisonment for the related crimes attributed to her, deport her. It also ordered that she pay a stipulated fine.
The defendant appealed the verdict, and her lawyer argued that the criminal case would expire with passage of time. He said in the defence memorandum: “The first accusation fell against the defendant when she was young, because she entered the UAE with her father who holds the nationality of the UAE, and the ruling made a mistake in applying the law, when it ruled by deporting his client, as a person convicted in a criminal judgment may not be deported if he or she is the spouse of an Emirati or a first-degree relative of an Emirati citizen}. Based on the memorandum submitted by the woman’s lawyer, the Abu Dhabi Court of Appeal decided to cancel the ruling of the Court of First Instance and return the woman to her family.”