Dubai: A paralegal who paid Dh500 in bribe to a police sergeant stationed at Dubai Courts to help him get confidential information about his clients, has been jailed for two years.
The police sergeant was going to his desk at the Dubai Courts’ building when the paralegal told the former that he wanted to discuss a private matter with him in March.
As the sergeant stood with him beside the building, the defendant offered to pay the sergeant money to help him fish out details about his clients without presenting a power of attorney [POA] that he represents those clients and as required by the Criminal Procedures Law.
The accused offered money to the sergeant to access the Public Prosecution’s electronic system and provide him with confidential details about his clients’ criminal statuses and whether they were wanted or banned from travelling.
The sergeant told his superior about what had happened and he was instructed to pretend to have agreed and have the paralegal arrested in a sting operation.
The accused was then apprehended in a sting operation after he paid the sergeant money in a washroom at the Dubai Courts building.
On Sunday, the Dubai Court of First Instance convicted the defendant of bribing a law enforcement officer to get access to confidential information about clients by breaching the Criminal Procedures Law.
When he appeared in court, the defendant strongly refuted the accusation and pleaded not guilty contending that he had been framed.
“I did not … that is not true,” he told the court.
Presiding judge Mohammad Jamal fined the accused Dh5,000 and said that he would be deported following the completion of his punishment.
Four advocates had volunteered to defend the paralegal and argued in court that the crime had been staged and the suspect did not commit any crime.
The defence lawyers argued in court that the aforementioned bribery money was not even confiscated during the sting operation and that the paralegal had not committed any wrongdoing.
Law enforcement procedures were carried out unlawfully and improperly against the paralegal, according to the defence lawyers who contended in court that it would have been ‘illogical and awkward’ for the suspect to bribe a policeman in the court’s building.
The sergeant claimed to prosecutors: “I know the suspect since he is a paralegal and constantly visits my desk to check on his clients or for different kinds of transactions. He offered to pay me money against providing him details pertaining to a woman. My supervisors instructed me to pretend to have agreed to his offer to have him apprehended in a sting operation.”
An investigating police lieutenant testified to prosecutors: “Following his arrest in the sting operation, the suspect cried and begged us to forgive him. He cried as he said ‘I am at fault please do not ruin my life’.”
Sunday’s ruling remains subject to appeal.