Terrorism plot trial adjourned by Abu Dhabi court

Eighty-four defendants are accused of establishing a terrorist organisation in the UAE

Eighty-four defendants are facing terrorism charges. Photo: Abu Dhabi Judicial Department
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An Abu Dhabi court has adjourned the trial of 84 defendants accused of setting up a terrorist organisation to plot an attack on UAE soil.

The suspects are alleged to have been leading players in an organisation called the “Justice and Dignity Committee”, which sought to stir up public dissent with protests and demonstrations against the state and clashes with security services.

The defendants – most of whom authorities say are affiliated with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood – are being tried at Abu Dhabi Federal Court of Appeal, otherwise known as the State Security Court.

A number of hearings in the case have taken place since February, with the latest held on Thursday.

The court heard arguments from the defence this week before proceedings were adjourned until next month.

Legal counsel for the accused contested evidence from the prosecution, saying technical and financial reports relied heavily on analysis and “left room for doubt and uncertainty” over their role in the terrorist plan, state news agency Wam reported.

They called for their clients to be acquitted on the basis they had no criminal intent because of their lack of knowledge of the organisation's true intentions.

The court previously heard allegations of money laundering against five defendants and six companies used to finance the group.

The charges against the defendants, who have not been identified, refer directly to establishing “another clandestine organisation for the purpose of committing acts of violence and terrorism on UAE soil”, Wam previously reported.

The defendants are accused of trying to conceal the crime and evidence of it before they were arrested and charged, the agency said.

The case was adjourned until April 18 for defence pleas to be completed.

Updated: March 16, 2024, 5:12 AM