Fingernail pulling 'stopped long ago', says judge

Court translator denies telling defendant that prosecutors would remove his nails if he did not confess.

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ABU DHABI // A court translator today denied telling a defendant that prosecutors would pull out his fingernails if he did not confess.

AK, from Pakistan, had previously confessed to stealing a car he rented in Abu Dhabi on October 9 and taking it to Sharjah to sell.

However, in the appeals court yesterday he said he confessed only because the translator told him he would be tortured and have his fingernails removed if he did not do so. AK pointed to his nails during the hearing to emphasis his point.

However, the translator denied telling him this. He said that he does not add anything to the text he is asked to translate and does not mistranslate either.

He added that he did not recognise AK, but accepted that he had translated for him as his signature was on the translation papers.

"These torture acts ended long ago," the judge jokingly told AK.

But AK insisted that he was telling the truth.

The judge then reminded him that he had previously testified that he had rented a car in Abu Dhabi and taken it to Sharjah without returning it to the rental store. But AK swore that he "did not go to rent the car and did not give them anything".

The judge said the only solution would be for the car rental store owner to testify. AK agreed and the case was adjourned until July 16. AK's original sentence was not clear.