Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 26 November 2020

UAE legal Q&As: what are the laws on suicide attempts?

A reader asks about the law when it comes to suicide, while another inquires whether giving someone a fake name when borrowing money constitutes fraud?

After a fight with my husband, I tried to commit suicide and cut my wrist. But I only injured myself and have since made a full recovery. I want to know what the law says about suicide in the UAE?

It is very unfortunate that you felt the need to try to take your own life. Under UAE law this act is a crime. Article No 335 states that “a person who attempts suicide is subject to imprisonment that does not exceed six months, or a fine that does not exceed Dh5,000 or both”. But one of the main factors considered by a court is the intention of the accused, and whether there was a genuine desire to kill oneself. The criminal court has the discretionary power to reach a conclusion on the person’s intentions, usually based on a medical statement or the statements of family members. If prosecutors believed that there was no intention to commit suicide, they also have the power to close the case and return the accused’s passport.

I have been accused of cheating an individual out of a large sum of money. He said I cheated him because I gave him a false name. I did give him a different name, but that is the only reason he has for accusing me of fraud. Would he have a case in court?

UAE Criminal Law Article No 399/1 states that a fine or detention will be issued “upon anyone who seizes, for himself or for another, a movable property, or obtains a document or signature thereon, cancellation or destruction thereof or amendment thereto by fraudulent means, or by assuming a false name or capacity, where such an act leads to deception of a victim and leads him to surrender”. To constitute fraud, the act has to lead to the deception of the victim, which leads them to surrender the money. That you gave a different name should not constitute an independent crime unless the court believes this was the reason the victim handed ver the money. In a similar case at Dubai Supreme Court, using a different name alone was not enough for the accused to be considered guilty.

If you have a question for our legal consultant, email media@professionallawyer.me with the subject line ‘Legal Q&As’.

Updated: February 4, 2017 04:00 AM

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