Dubai: A court acquitted Shaikh Eisa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan of assaulting an Afghan merchant after three witnesses testified that he was "intentionally drugged without his knowledge" prior to the videotaped assault.

"The Al Ain Court of First Instance concluded [based on witnesses' statements and investigations conducted by the police and public prosecution] that prior to the incident, Shaikh Eisa was behaving normally. Shaikh Eisa sat with the American accused, G.N., in the resthouse of his palace where G.N. secretly put a drug in his juice. A witness named A.A.R. testified that he spotted G.N. putting pills in the juice which he served to Shaikh Eisa. A.A.R. stated that Shaikh Eisa acted normally until he drank the juice after which his behaviour changed and [he] acted strangely," read the verdict sheet, a copy of which was obtained by Gulf News.

No control

The court verdict also said: "The jury concluded that Shaikh Eisa was unaware of his acts and had no control over his behaviour because he was given intoxicating drugs and mind-affecting substances without any knowledge from his side or knowledge about its content and effects. The imam of the palace's mosque testified that G.N. was in charge of handling Shaikh Eisa's medication and regulated the times when he used it. G.N. used to mix the drugs with the medicines and give it to Shaikh Eisa, testified the imam. Another witness also testified that Shaikh Eisa used to behave strangely and would lose control soon after G.N. gave him his medication each time. The court was further convinced that G.N. and his brother B.N. orchestrated the incident and videotaped it secretly and they broadcast it after they failed to blackmail Shaikh Eisa. The court acquitted Shaikh Eisa for lack of responsibility over his behaviour."

Shaikh Eisa's lawyer, Dr Habib Al Mulla, told Gulf News on Wednesday: "This proves that the judgment was well-founded, taking into consideration all issues pertaining to the case. The judgement confirms our line of defence that the tape which was broadcast is not admissible evidence and that it had been tampered with."

The court had cleared Shaikh Eisa of endangering the life of the Afghan merchant, M.S., and of sexually abusing him with a stick.

The jury granted M.S. Dh10,000 in temporary compensation against libel damages which he incurred after the American brothers posted the videotape on the internet without his consent.

The brothers were sentenced to five years in jail after the court convicted them of possessing drugs to carry out a criminal act, endangering the life of Shaikh Eisa (they mixed the drug with his drink and served it to him), defaming and insulted Shaikh Eisa by broadcasting what the bill of charges termed "slanderous videotape".


The court imprisoned a 40-year-old Syrian, identified as Y.K., for one year after he was convicted of assaulting and abusing the merchant.

Meanwhile, F.I., a Palestinian, and N.M., an Indian, who are both at large, were sentenced in absentia to three years in jail. The court found them guilty of molesting and abusing the Afghan and assaulting him.