Prosecutors barred from business, Supreme Court rules

Rule meant to ensure an independent judicial system.

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ABU DHABI // The law which bans judges from operating businesses, intended to ensure an independent and dignified judiciary, also applies to prosecutors, the Supreme Court has ruled.

The case involved a public prosecutor from Umm al Quwain who sponsored two businesses.

The man was officially "reproached" by the Supreme Court. Reproach is a type of punishment levelled against judicial officials which can affect their career prospects.

The man, who was not identified in court documents released yesterday, established two businesses and obtained an industrial license for a cloth factory.

He argued that another person was in charge of the businesses, while he was merely a sponsor.

But the court dismissed his argument, saying factory clients complained about him, bringing embarrassment on his position as part of the judiciary.

Running a business, the Supreme Court said, did not correspond with the dignity and duties of a public prosecutor.

"He has committed an act that has brought embarrassment and offence to his official position, with its prestige and sensitivity among society members," wrote Dr Ahmed al Mustafa, the head of the disciplinary committee that examined the case.

But the judges suspended punishment because the man did not renew the licenses.