Defence says man not responsible for insulting posts about UAE

The defendant, H H, 33, from a Gulf country, is accused with four others of posting the images.

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ABU DHABI // The lawyer defending an agent from another country’s state security department said his client could not be prosecuted for another man’s crime, after Sim cards he bought were used to post insulting images.

The agent, who has denied posting pictures that were insulting to the UAE and its Rulers, has admitted to the Federal Court that he bought the Sim cards for his manager.

The manager used the cards in smartphones to post insulting pictures of the UAE’s leaders and spread rumours about the country on Instagram and Twitter, the lawyer said.

The defendant, H H, 33, from a Gulf country, is accused with four others of posting the images.

But he has said he was asked by his manager to buy the UAE Sim cards under a “military order” and did not use them himself.

His lawyer, Hamdan Al Zeyoodi, argued that his client had no bad intentions and did what his manager requested.

“I would like to clarify to the court that the story on this case is that H H was an employee in the state security, and his job duties entail he purchases whatever is needed – stationery, electronic devices, anything. He was asked by his direct manager to purchase the Sim cards,” he said.

Mr Al Zeyoodi said his client should not – and under UAE law could not – be prosecuted for a crime he did not commit.

“Article 2 of the Constitution states ‘a man does not take offence of the crime of another’. The request of the purchase came from H H’s manager, and as per laws he must obey. And he did not have bad intentions when buying the Sim cards.

“My client works in a military environment and was ordered to go by a mission. He did not know the purpose or the aim of the purchases.

“There is no evidence that H H was in fact the one using the number or devices in evidence, or the one behind the Twitter or Instagram accounts.”

In a previous hearing, a member of the public prosecution said an investigator had found a WhatsApp chat with someone called Abu Shaheen, who was helping the defendant to download editing programs for the pictures used.

Mr Al Zeyoodi said that the defendant had only been a part of the online group, and that Abu Shaheen had sent before-and-after pictures that were edited through the group.

The lawyer said the images downloaded automatically on the application, and the defendant had no knowledge of them.

He then asked that his client be acquitted.

Judge Falah Al Hajeri asked the defendant if he would like to add anything. The defendant said he was not told why his manager wanted the Sim cards.

“I have over 5,000 photos on my phone and I assure you none are insulting to any member of the Royal family. My manager asked me to get the purchased items and did not tell me whether they will be used for a beneficial or harmful act,” he said.

The court has heard that the group used Twitter handles @bo3skor101, @bo3skor2021 and @northsniper, and Instagram accounts under the names of @bo3skor1011 and @9ip.

The verdict will be announced on May 18.