UAE man accused of insulting foreign country on internet

MA, 27, is standing trial in the State Security Division of the Federal Supreme Court on charges that he ran an online account that could have harmed relations between the UAE and Oman.

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ABU DHABI // An Emirati man accused of insulting a foreign country on the internet was only defending his homeland, his lawyer has claimed.

MA, 27, is standing trial in the State Security Division of the Federal Supreme Court on charges that he ran an online account that could have harmed relations between the UAE and Oman.

His lawyer, Raed Al Awlaqi, claimed his client only made the statements on BlackBerry Messenger and should be “praised not prosecuted”.

“The insults thrown using the application were in defence of the country’s leaders,” said Mr Al Awlaqi.

“The men that MA was chatting with had insulted the UAE and the leaders, and all my client did was insult them back.”

While MA was “wrong to do so” he was motivated by his “love of his country”, said Mr Al Awlaqi.

“I am a lawyer, yet I would have done the same in the defence of my country. MA is a victim of love of his country,” he said.

He said the case should not have been referred to the court as it was not its “speciality”.

“The charges state he had established an account, but everyone knows any BlackBerry mobile phone comes with an account as part of its messenger,” he said.

He also said insulting another country was not a crime under the UAE’s laws.

The verdict will be announced on October 26.

aalkhoori@thenational.ae