Harsher penalties and up to Dh1 in fines make up sweeping reforms to UAE penal code

ABU DHABI // Higher fines and harsher punishments for some crimes are among changes to the penal code that come into effect on Sunday.

And judges can no longer decide to allow expatriates found guilty of crimes to escape deportation at the end of their sentences, although that discretion remains for misdemeanours.

The new laws also allow deportation to be carried out immediately for some crimes.

“While it was optional, there were crimes for which we chose to issue deportation, such as murder, because it is dangerous to keep this person in society,” said Chief Justice Mustafa Abu El Naja, head of the Abu Dhabi Appeals Court.

“Also in cases of prostitutes, for instance, why hold her in jail, feed her and pay her costs for six months, instead of deporting her immediately?”

The maximum fine for people convicted of crimes has been raised to Dh1 million from Dh100,000, and to Dh300,000 from Dh30,000 for misdemeanours.

For companies or other agencies, it has risen to Dh500,000 from Dh50,000.

Legal advocate Yazan Al Rawashdeh said the steeper fines would be more effective deterrents.

“Lately there has been an increase in murder cases, especially those committed by locals and related to ‘honour’,” Mr Al Rawashdeh said. “I handled three such cases this year.”

“The offender thinks to himself, ‘I will spend a few years in prison and then get out or get released by a pardon’.”

The maximum penalty for undermining state security during times of war has been increased from 10 years to the death penalty.

“Usually a country decides to raise punishments for a certain crime due to the danger of this crime or because it is on the rise,” Chief Justice El Naja said.

“It does not necessarily have to be a dangerous crime but its increase could have dangerous results, especially with cases of state security.”

The new laws also changed the punishment of “obligation to work” to “community service”, and included it as one of five measures to which an offender can be sentenced.

They state that community service “could be issued for minor misdemeanours only, and in lieu to a jail sentence that does not exceed six months or a fine”.

And the old laws listed acts that could cause injury but were not considered crimes if they were committed in good faith or through the use of a legal right.

These included injuries from medical surgery, competitive martial arts fights or police apprehending a suspect who was resisting arrest.

Deleted from this list was “punishment by a husband of his wife and punishment by parents and custodians of minor children, within the limits prescribed by Sharia or by Law”.

Chief Justice El Naja said this law had caused complications because people’s understanding of the extent of domestic punishment differed between cultures.

Mr Al Rawashdeh said he did not agree with the removal of this clause “because it is already specified in Sharia how minor the punishment is and there were many limits, like it is not allowed to hit the face or cause any effect or scars”.

He said he expected to see an increase of assault cases filed by women and children.

“We already see many of these cases in court,” Mr Al Rawashdeh said. “When a wife is filing for divorce, she lists a push as a physical attack, just to come up with any excuse to get a divorce.”



Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

Fixtures and results:

Wed, Aug 29:

  • Malaysia bt Hong Kong by 3 wickets
  • Oman bt Nepal by 7 wickets
  • UAE bt Singapore by 215 runs

Thu, Aug 30: 

  • UAE bt Nepal by 78 runs
  • Hong Kong bt Singapore by 5 wickets
  • Oman bt Malaysia by 2 wickets

Sat, Sep 1: UAE v Hong Kong; Oman v Singapore; Malaysia v Nepal

Sun, Sep 2: Hong Kong v Oman; Malaysia v UAE; Nepal v Singapore

Tue, Sep 4: Malaysia v Singapore; UAE v Oman; Nepal v Hong Kong

Thu, Sep 6: Final

The struggle is on for active managers

David Einhorn closed out 2018 with his biggest annual loss ever for the 22-year-old Greenlight Capital.

The firm’s main hedge fund fell 9 per cent in December, extending this year’s decline to 34 percent, according to an investor update viewed by Bloomberg.

Greenlight posted some of the industry’s best returns in its early years, but has stumbled since losing more than 20 per cent in 2015.

Other value-investing managers have also struggled, as a decade of historically low interest rates and the rise of passive investing and quant trading pushed growth stocks past their inexpensive brethren. Three Bays Capital and SPO Partners & Co., which sought to make wagers on undervalued stocks, closed in 2018. Mr Einhorn has repeatedly expressed his frustration with the poor performance this year, while remaining steadfast in his commitment to value investing.

Greenlight, which posted gains only in May and October, underperformed both the broader market and its peers in 2018. The S&P 500 Index dropped 4.4 per cent, including dividends, while the HFRX Global Hedge Fund Index, an early indicator of industry performance, fell 7 per cent through December. 28.

At the start of the year, Greenlight managed $6.3 billion in assets, according to a regulatory filing. By May, the firm was down to $5.5bn. 

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Match info

UAE v Bolivia, Friday, 6.25pm, Maktoum bin Rashid Stadium, Dubai


Azerbaijan 0

Wales 2 (Moore 10', Wilson 34')

What is hepatitis?

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver, which can lead to fibrosis (scarring), cirrhosis or liver cancer.

There are 5 main hepatitis viruses, referred to as types A, B, C, D and E.

Hepatitis C is mostly transmitted through exposure to infective blood. This can occur through blood transfusions, contaminated injections during medical procedures, and through injecting drugs. Sexual transmission is also possible, but is much less common.

People infected with hepatitis C experience few or no symptoms, meaning they can live with the virus for years without being diagnosed. This delay in treatment can increase the risk of significant liver damage.

There are an estimated 170 million carriers of Hepatitis C around the world.

The virus causes approximately 399,000 fatalities each year worldwide, according to WHO.


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