Visitor 'took pictures of armed forces headquarters'

A man charged with taking illegal photos says he was just snapping shots of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque.

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ABU DHABI // A visitor who claimed he was only taking pictures of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque appeared at the State Security Court yesterday accused of illegally photographing a public building.

The man, who was not identified in court, denied taking photographs of the nearby Armed Forces General Headquarters, claiming: "I was taking photos of the mosque."

His lawyer asked to postpone the hearing to prepare his defence. The case was adjourned until Monday.

The man's case comes during a year when there has been three similar cases.

A Korean architect was recently charged with photographing the Iranian and Syrian embassies, which he said was done for architectural purposes, as his company was building the new Korean embassy in the capital.

In February, an Iranian tourist was charged with taking photographs of the Presidential Palace in Ras Al Akhdar, near the Corniche. The man told the court he took photos of the palace out of "admiration of the structure of the building" and that he did not have any "bad intentions".

A week later, two Bangladeshi men stood in the same court accused of taking photos of the Yas Marina Circuit.