Monday, January 11, 2010

Sheikh Eisa acquitted

An up-date on a story I've posted about in the past, the last time being a month ago.

Shaikh Eisa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has been acquitted of assaulting an Afghan merchant after the Al Ain Court of First Instance found him not responsible for his actions which were videotaped and put on the internet last year.

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

I've always had a problem understanding the way the law is structured in the area of responsibility, not just here of course.

It makes no sense to me that a verdict can be 'well, yes he did it but he's not guilty because...'

If he did it he's guilty of doing it. That should be the verdict. Yes he did it. Guilty.

Extenuating circumstances should, to my non-legal mind, come in later when the sentence is considered. If the person did the deed, ie is guilty, but was coerced, mentally unbalanced or whatever then the sentence, if any, would reflect that.

Anyway, back to the 'torture tape trial'. The verdict is what was widely expected and I don't suppose anyone's surprised.

In an earlier hearing, a doctor from Abu Dhabi's Forensic Laboratory testified before the Al Ain Court that the medication given to Shaikh Eisa at the time when he allegedly assaulted the merchant may lead to loss of memory and uncontrollable behaviour.

The court accepted the 'not responsible' defence.

It's a bizarre case.

The tape is on the internet for the world to see. A number of people are shown torturing an Afghan merchant, Mohammed Shapoor. Sheikh Eisa has been found not guilty while five co-defendants were found guilty.

Couldn't they also have mounted a 'look what you made me do' defence?

Two associates of Sheikh Eisa, American citizens, released the tape to the media. They were sentenced in absentia to five years in jail for having drugged him, thus endangering his life, and defaming & insulting him by broadcasting the tape.

The victim is suing them for libel because he says that releasing the tape defames him. The court must have agreed because he was granted Dh10,000 in temporary compensation.

It's reported in The National that after the verdict the victim Mr Shapoor congratulated the sheikh, kissing him on both cheeks.

I really have trouble getting my head around all that.

While Sheikh Eisa and and a co-defendant were acquitted, three other co-defendants were jailed for between one and three years for the assault.

Public Prosecution can appeal the verdict. I'll be as surprised as you if they do.

So far the international media has simply reported the verdict, although the Financial Times does add the comment that: Reaction to the verdict ranged from a weary assumption that the judicial process was bound to find the brother of the UAE president innocent, to shock that in spite of graphic video evidence Sheikh Issa was found innocent while five of the seven accused were sentenced to jail, including two farm employees who had carried out the assault with the sheikh.

Where newspapers allow online comments the predictable reaction, a travesty of justice, from people is obvious and almost unanimous.

The real attacks will start tomorrow I'm sure, when the columnists file their pieces.

Gulf News report.

The National report.

The Times report.

Financial Times.


Anonymous said...

Afghan Torture Victim Convicted of Repeatedly Running into Sheikh Issa’s Fist

Abu Dhabi/UAE Daily Photo said...

Shit like this wears me down...

Anonymous said...

Some people are pleased with the sentence saying:

1) The tortured man was actually a drug dealer who deserved his torture

2) The acquital proves the UAE wont be bullied into things,

3) People are tortured throughout the world, no reason why this case should be highlighted

The most chilling defence came from a comment that said:

If you dare cross a sheikh; you'll get sand in your mouth.

If some powerful country forces us to put the sheikh to trial; we'll make-believe and then prosecute the witnesses.

I hope we don't have to repeat this again.

Anonymous said...

What sort of law is that , they one who committe is walking free and the ones who accompanied him are jailed. I say justice in the face of world is CASH. pay it and get things done.

Anonymous said...

i am very ashamed of seeing arab world where Prophet mohammad PBUH struggled and sacrified to get the islam flag up now all Sheikhs turned to a pims dealing with girls and are proud to have such shit place.

This is shamefull to see such a man who claims to be a great guy will commit such a crim.

I am sure that the others expats who see this will avoid going to a country where law is trumpled by the Amir. How corupt is the police and other departments

Anonymous said...

spare a thought for the judge who sentenced him.. like that dude had a choice there!

Rose in Dubai said...

and quite amusing that there was not a single letter in 7 Days about it.....

Anonymous said...

Can't believe it!!!!!!!!!!!!
The world came from up to down??