A screengrab from the YouTube video that shows a government official beating a driver using his Ghutra. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: An Emirati man, who beat an Indian driver following a minor accident in Al Muraqqabat, has been placed under provisional detention pending further investigations.

“The defendant, who was exposed on YouTube assaulting the victim, has been detained. He has been confronted by the video footage that went viral on  social media networks. The investigating prosecutor has summoned the Indian victim to hear his statement,” said Acting-Attorney General Yousuf Hassan Al Mutawa on Wednesday. 

The Deira Prosecution, which has jurisdiction over the area where the incident happened, is currently handling the interrogation and is set to hear more prosecution witnesses.

“Everybody, Emiratis and expatriates, who live in this country, are treated equally and their rights preserved as per the UAE Constitution. There is no discrimination against anybody whatsoever,” stressed Al Mutawa. 

When asked about the alleged defamation and breach of privacy case lodged by the Emirati’s family against the person who uploaded the video on YouTube, a senior prosecutor told Gulf News: “We have not received anything in that regard. The family could have lodged the case in a different jurisdiction. The assault case was the only case file that Dubai Police have referred to us so far.”

“Initially it was an ordinary assault case, yet as soon as it was posted on YouTube, it went viral on social media channels. Since then, the case became of public concern and incited public opinion. It became a case of disdain and disparagement and particularly as it’s Ramadan, the month of mercy and forgiveness. When such incidents develop into a matter of public opinion and concern, police have the right to refer the case to prosecutors,” advocate Mohammad Abdullah Al Redha told Gulf News.

The Emirati, if charged, is expected to be prosecuted before the Dubai Misdemeanor Court.

The Penal Code’s article 339 stipulates that a suspect faces up to a year in jail and a maximum fine of Dh10,000 if he/she beats a victim without causing injuries that prevent him/her from carrying out his duties for up to 20 days.

Meanwhile, the man who posted a video of the assault has been arrested, according to Major General Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina, acting chief of Dubai Police. The man admitted taking the video and distributing it to his friends.

“This case will be transferred to the public prosecution for more investigation,” said Major General Al Mazeina.

With inputs from Bassma Al Jandaly, Community and Crime Correspondent