UAE court upholds verdict for man who insulted honour with abusive text message

The man texted a message to another phone user stating 'You, your wife and your entire family are all liars'.

ABU DHABI // A man who sent an abusive message by text to another man had his conviction for verbal insult upheld by the Federal Supreme Court on Tuesday.

The original text message he sent read: “You, your wife and your entire family are all liars.”

Prosecutors told the Sharjah Court of First Instance that the message insulted the honour and prestige of the recipient, therefore the sender should be charged according to Article 374 of the penal code.

The court sentenced the man in his absence on December 12, 2012 to a Dh1,000 fine.

The accuser had also requested for a civil compensation lawsuit, so the court ordered to refer that aspect to the civil court.

Civil cases claiming compensation are only referred to the civil court after criminal courts have issued their verdict.

However, the defendant appealed against the verdict and lost, so he referred the case to the Supreme Court.

He argued that as the statements were made by text and not verbally there was no evidence of his criminal intent except the testimony of the accuser.

On Tuesday the Supreme Court rejected his argument because a print-out of the text message was attached to the case records.

It ruled that a text message still counts as a verbal insult.

Published: May 27, 2014 04:00 AM