Monday, January 11, 2010

UAE's Shaikh Eisa trial verdict



Al Ain: Shaikh Eisa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has been acquitted of assaulting an Afghan merchant after the Al Ain Court of First Instance found him not responsible for his actions which were videotaped and put on the internet last year.

The court also cleared Shaikh Eisa of endangering the life of the Afghan merchant, M.S., and of sexually abusing him with a stick.

The jury also granted M.S. Dh10,000 in temporary compensation against libel damages which he claimed he incurred after two American brothers posted the videotape on the internet.

The merchant had sued the American brothers, G.N. and B.N., for libel and claimed Dh100,000 in temporary compensation.

The brothers were sentenced to five years in jail each after the court convicted them of possessing drugs to carry out a criminal act, endangering the life of Shaikh Eisa (they mixed the drug with his drink and served it to him), defamed and insulted Shaikh Eisa by broadcasting what the bill of charges termed as "slanderous videotape".

In absentia

"We are pleased with the judgment… because my client's acquittal shows that he was a victim of a conspiracy," Dr Habib Al Mulla, the lawyer of Shaikh Eisa, told Gulf News.

The court imprisoned a 40-year-old Syrian, identified as Y.K., one year after he was incriminated of assaulting and abusing the merchant.

Meanwhile, F.I., a Palestinian, and N.M., an Indian, who are both at large, were sentenced in absentia to three years in jail each.

The court found them guilty of sexually molesting and abusing the Afghan and assaulting him as well. A Nepali suspect, C.G, who was also accused of the same charges, was acquitted.

In an earlier hearing, a doctor from Abu Dhabi's Forensic Laboratory testified before the Al Ain Court that the medication given to Shaikh Eisa at the time when he allegedly assaulted the merchant may lead to loss of memory and uncontrollable behaviour.

Dr Al Mulla handed over to the jury the reports from Tawam Hospital confirming that the medication given to Shaikh Eisa has severe side effects on the nervous system and may lead to aggressiveness, uncontrolled behaviour and loss of memory.

Dr Al Mulla protested his client's innocence and presented to the jury medical reports confirming that the medicines given to Shaikh Eisa caused him to lose his free will. Shaikh Eisa pleaded not guilty to the charges of assault and endangering the Afghan's life.

Dr Al Mulla defended: "B.N. and G.N. plotted the whole incident. They gave my client nearly 66 medicines, some of which contained drugs and mind-affecting substances, over a long period."

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