Image Credit: WAM

Abu Dhabi: The State Security Chamber of the Abu Dhabi Federal Appeals Court has adjourned the hearing in Case No. 87 of 2023, State Security Offences, involving the terrorist '˜Justice and Dignity Committee' Organisation to 18th April 2024, in order to complete hearing pleas of defence.

84 defendants stand accused in this case of establishing and managing a clandestine terrorist organisation in the UAE known as the '˜Justice and Dignity Committee'. The charges against them include planning terrorist acts, fundraising for the Organisation, and concealing the source and destination of those funds.

During the session held on Thursday, which was attended by the defendants' families and media representatives, the court heard over three and a half hours of defence arguments. The lawyers for the accused challenged the validity of the charges presented by the Prosecution and contested the evidence submitted, including the investigations and technical and financial reports. They argued that these reports relied heavily on analysis, leaving room for doubt and uncertainty. They demanded the acquittal and release of their clients, noting to the absence of criminal intent due to their clients' lack of knowledge of the organisation's true intentions.

The court allowed, during the defence's arguments, for any of the accused who wanted to talk about themselves and comment on the evidence of the prosecution and the arguments of the Public Prosecution and what they wanted to add in terms of arguments and defence.

In more detail, the defence argued during the session that the court lacked jurisdiction due to a prior judgment in a previous case, i.e. Case No. 79 of 2012. This formed a fundamental aspect of their defence strategy, which all defendants endorsed.

It is noteworthy that the Public Prosecution dedicated part of its previous sessions to addressing the argument for lack of jurisprudence. They highlighted distinctions between the current case and past trials involving the defendants, supported by evidence.

The Public Prosecution further strengthened its argument by outlining the criteria governing application to dismissing a case due to a prior judgment. They also cited specific rulings from the Federal Supreme Court to support their position.