ABU DHABI // An Omani man who allegedly signed a coffee shop’s feedback card ‘Daesh’, the Arabic name for ISIL, blamed his bad handwriting for getting him into trouble with the authorities.
K G, who is on trial at the Federal Supreme Court, told judges his nickname is similar to Daesh when written in Arabic.
“I signed the card ‘Raesh’ not ‘Daesh’, your honour,” the 24-year-old told the presiding judge.
K G, who is currently on bail, told the judge that Raesh was his nickname and that it had been confused with the common Arabic name for the terrorist organisation.
“All my friends know me as Raesh,” said K G, who explained that he takes muscle growth hormones and supplements which cause him to have convulsions. As a result people call him ‘Raesh’, which means tremulous in Arabic.
K G said he had no links with the terrorist organisation.
“There is nothing in my phone that could tie me to ISIL. I know nothing of them. I never dealt with them. I only signed a coupon with my friends at a coffee shop,” he told the judge.
The Omani, who signed the card at a coffee shop in Al Ain Mall, said he was surprised to get a call from police shortly after.
The prosecutor insisted that K G intended to write ‘Daesh’.
The matter is being treated as a misdemeanor under terrorism Law No. 7 of 2014.
“You know better than that,” the judge told K G, who has a high school degree. “Someone with your education should be able to differentiate between such things.”
K G was defending himself but asked the court for time to hire a lawyer to present his case with a stronger defence. Lawyers aren’t mandatory for misdemeanour cases.
The case was adjourned to March 28.