ABU DHABI // The trial of eight men charged with supporting terrorism resumed yesterday in a closed session at the Federal Supreme Court after a three-month hiatus. Seven Emiratis and one Afghan were before the court after being released on bail on October 20. They were arrested a year earlier. Two face charges of funnelling money through the Afghan man to the Taliban in Afghanistan.
According to previous court sessions, the Afghan was the imam at Abdul Rahman al Dakhal mosque in Khor Fakkan, where the accused men worshipped. Two of the men are accused of setting up an organisation to enforce a "strict code of Islam". According to federal prosecutors, three others abused a Bangladeshi man after he was seen speaking with a woman. They allegedly took pictures of him with their mobile phones to make an example of him to other men in the community.
They are also accused of possessing and distributing military videos that "entice violence and terrorism". The men are accused of being part of the same network. All deny the charges despite signed confessions submitted by prosecutors. They told the court previously that they were abused and coerced into signing the documents. The men were among 21 arrested in Khor Fakkan on October 1, 2008, in a 3am police raid.
The men previously told the court that police raided their homes, breaking down the doors, with helicopter support overhead, in the middle of the night. The men were held in the state security jail for three months, the longest period allowed for holding someone without charge. Charges were dropped against 13 men. One of those arrested, an Egyptian, was deported without trial. The remaining eight were transferred to Al Wathba Prison, after which they made several court appearances.
According to court records, two of the men still facing charges were arrested in October 2001 and were imprisoned for nine months. Charges against them at the time were dropped. The trial was set for February 9. @Email:email@example.com