ABU DHABI // An American woman has been acquitted of charges that she insulted the UAE, after a psychological evaluation showed she was mentally ill.
She had been on trial at Federal Supreme Court for verbally insulting the country and its leaders at Abu Dhabi International Airport, which she denied. She had been in jail since February 23 and had waived her right to legal counsel.
The judge ordered that the 25-year-old undergo a psychological evaluation. The woman’s parents had requested a lawyer through the US embassy, which she refused.
“Mental competence is a substantial component of any defence case. I can’t sentence you today with a request stating that you might have been unaware and irresponsible for your actions,” the judge told the defendant during her initial sentencing hearing.
Defamation cases are usually prosecuted through the criminal court systems, except when it comes to insulting the country and its leaders, in which case prosecutors can take the case to Federal Supreme Court.
The woman had told the court that she was waiting for a taxi when two men approached her and did not like the way she spoke to them. She said she did not know why she was on trial and that nothing happened.
“The men tried to help me. I had another flight to catch at 1.29am. I refused to engage with them and nothing happened,” she said during her indictment.
The woman will be deported.