Abu Dhabi Court. Image Credit: Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: A man was sentenced to 10 years in jail and Dh2 million in fines after he was found guilty of promoting ideology of terrorist organisations through social media channels, the Abu Dhabi Court of Appeals ruled on Wednesday.

The Filipino defendant, Hassan D.A.A.,30, was also ordered to be deported after serving his term.

The court ordered confiscation of all communication devices used in the crimes, deleted the materials and closed the websites and social networking sites used in the offences.

He was found guilty of joining terrorist groups and using social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, etc. to promote their terrorist ideology and urge other people to join these terrorist organisations.

Legal challenge

The defense lawyer, Salim Al Naqbi, who was appointed by the court to defend the man, challenged the prosecution’s search and arrest procedures.

“We object to the nullity of the arrest and search procedures as they were signed without the permission of the Public Prosecution and without a case of 'in flagrante delicto' or in the very act of committing a crime,” Al Naqbi said.

Sometimes simply 'in flagrante', it a legal term used to indicate that a criminal has been caught in the act of committing an offence.

“We are also challenging the procedures for the arrest and search of the suspect because they were carried out on the basis of non-serious investigations,” he said.

Domestic worker

“The establishment of seven accounts on the internet requires the management of a large group of full-time people of competence and intelligence to manage all these accounts, and this is what my client is not able to do, as he works as a domestic worker in the home of his sponsor and does not have the time and ability to manage all these networking sites.

The lawyer asked the court to acquit his client of all charges.

The State Security Prosecution has charged the Filipino man of setting up and running six accounts on the social media, including a Twitter account called “Abu Zubair”, five accounts on Facebook with different names and a seventh account on the Telegram site, through which information, articles and video clips were disseminated urging youn people to join terrorist groups and to provide financial support to their members and affiliates around the world.