UAE

UAE: 53 convicted in terrorist ‘Justice and Dignity Committee’ case

abu-dhabi-federal-appeals-court-pic-on-wam-1708256409969
File photo of Abu Dhabi Federal Appeals Court
Image Credit: WAM

Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi Federal Appeals Court – State Security Department on Wednesday convicted 53 defendants, comprising leaders and members of the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood organisation, and six companies, in Case No. 87 of 2023 – State Security Offenses, known in the media as the terrorist ‘Justice and Dignity Committee’ Organisation, and imposing penalties ranging from life imprisonment to a fine of Dh20 million.

The Court sentenced 43 defendants to life imprisonment for the crime of creating, establishing, and managing the terrorist ‘Justice and Dignity Committee’ Organisation for the purpose of committing terrorist acts in the country.

Get exclusive content with Gulf News WhatsApp channel

It also convicted five defendants with 15 years in prison for cooperating with the ‘Reform Call’ Organisation and advocating for it in articles and tweets posted on social media platforms, with prior knowledge of its purpose to take action against the country.

The Court also convicted five defendants each with a 10-year imprisonment sentence and a fine of Dh10 million, for the crime of laundering money that was obtained for the crimes of creating, establishing and financing a terrorist organisation.

Furthermore, the Court also ruled in favour of imposing penalties on six companies and those responsible for them by fining each of them Dh20 million, as well as dissolving and closing the headquarters of said companies, confiscating their assets, their tangible and intangible property rights, funds, real estate and facades, and confiscating all materials, equipment, and belongings obtained by and used in the commission of the aforementioned crimes. These crimes include money laundering committed by an organised criminal group and the laundering of proceeds to finance a terrorist organisation.

also read

Some cases dismissed

The Court also ruled to dismiss the criminal cases against 24 defendants for crimes of cooperation and supplying the organisation with money, and has ruled to acquit one of the defendants.

The Court affirmed that reasons for the ruling issued today (July 10) that the crimes the defendants were convicted of consist of establishing and managing the terrorist ‘Justice and Dignity Committee’ Organisation, which are distinct from and unrelated to the crimes for which they were tried in Case No. 79 of 2012-State Security Offenses. Additionally, the evidence presented in the case, including confessions and statements from a number of defendants, witness testimonies, and technical reports submitted, were sufficient to prove the defendants’ commission of the crimes.

‘Reform Call’

The Court verified that the defendants are part of the ‘Reform Call’ Organisation (the Muslim Brotherhood, which is classified as a terrorist organisation), who have worked to create and replicate violent events in the country, similar to what has occurred in other Arab states, including protests and clashes between the security forces and protesting crowds, that led to deaths and injuries and to the destruction of facilities, as well as the consequent spread of panic and terror among people, which created a crisis threatening overall security and stability, and the sovereignty of the State, while endangering individuals’ lives and their property.

Appeal possible

It is important to note that the verdict issued in this case can be appealed before the Federal Supreme Court.

The Court examined the case and proceeded with the trial, over 10 hearings, in which it ensured that the defendants’ rights and guarantees were protected, as stipulated in law. The Court also enabled the defendants to choose their attorneys, and appointed an attorney to defend those who did not appoint one themselves. The Court heard their defences and their attorneys’ arguments, and reviewed the defence memorandums submitted in writing.

Testimonies heard

Moreover, the court also heard the testimonies of witnesses during public sessions, which allowed the defendants and attorneys to cross-examine them. The Public Prosecution submitted its evidence during its pleadings in a public session, which included the confessions and acknowledgements of the defendants, the investigations and testimonies of officers of the State Security Department, as well as testimonies from technical experts and their expert reports. This evidence corroborated the commission of the crimes, and demonstrated the defendants’ involvement in committing them, as well as the roles they played.

In a statement, the Court emphasised that these crimes differ from the crimes that the defendants were previously charged with in Case No. 79 of 2012 – State Security Offenses. The Court also affirmed that it convicted them of those crimes according to the laws in force at the time they were committed, thereby adhering to the principles of the non-retroactive application of criminal penalties, as well as the principle that prohibits charging people with the same crime twice (double jeopardy).