Deported woman ‘insulted’ car owner

Abu Dhabi Judicial Department officials have responded to reports concerning Australian Jodi Magi who was jailed and deported over a Facebook post.

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ABU DHABI // Judicial Department officials have responded to media reports concerning an Australian woman who was briefly detained and then deported after being convicted of a cybercrime.

Jodi Magi was held on Sunday and deported on Tuesday after posting an online picture of a car parked across two disabled spaces outside her flat in February.

The case has attracted worldwide press attention after the 39-year-old complained of being traumatised by the “extreme reaction to a jpg of a car posted to a closed Facebook page”.

Magi told media she had obscured the car’s number plate in the photo.

A judicial source has since provided The National with a timeline of events surrounding the case.

The source said on February 24 a European woman complained to police that Magi and her husband had uploaded a picture of her parked car, along with “insulting and degrading words”.

“These included ‘crazy’ and a slang term for the male sexual organ,” said the judicial source.

Magi’s husband was questioned by police on March 3 and said that his wife had posted the picture, but denied she had written the insulting words.

Five days later, Magi was questioned and echoed her husband’s statement. She was charged and released on bail. On March 22, the Attorney General’s office questioned the complainant and asked for a police report to determine whether Magi had posted both the pictures and the words, said the judicial source.

A report submitted two days later said Magi had posted both the words and the pictures.

When Magi failed to appear at a court hearing on April 29, she was convicted in absentia and fined Dh10,000 to be followed by deportation.

On May 21, Magi appeared in court, accompanied by a lawyer and translator, and appealed against the verdict. The appeal was rejected on June 24.

Magi appeared in an Abu Dhabi court on Sunday to pay the fine and was taken into custody pending deportation to Australia.

The next day, she was transferred to the Central Prison, otherwise known as Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi’s biggest jail, and was deported at 7pm on Tuesday, on a flight to Bangkok, “a destination of her own choice”, said the source.

Senior Abu Dhabi prosecutor Mohammed Al Dhanhani said the actions committed by Magi fell foul of the 2012 Federal Anti-Information Technology Crimes Law No 5.

“She captured the picture without the consent of the (car’s) owner. She then published the pictures on the web and added insulting phrases.”

Each of these three actions is subject to prosecution under the law, which punishes all violators with a fine and/or jail, and deportation for all expatriates without exceptions, he said.