ABU DHABI // The Court of Cassation yesterday overturned the convictions of 10 men accused of running one of the capital's largest human trafficking rings.
The men presented evidence that the women they were charged with trafficking had been free to leave the country.
The 10 were among 13 Syrians - 12 men and a woman - convicted in January by the Abu Dhabi Court of First Instance.
Seven of those convicted were sentenced to life in prison, and six were given 10 years. The man convicted of leading the ring - which had forced Moroccan women into prostitution - fled, but was later captured in the UAE and sentenced to life in prison in a separate trial.
The 10 who appealed their convictions will be retried by different judges in the Appeal Court.
The Court of Cassation did not give a reason for its verdict, but the men had argued they were merely facilitators. They presented evidence that the women they were accused of trafficking had travelled freely outside the country several times.
Prosecutors said one of the women who was forced into prostitution fled a villa in which she had been held. She contacted police in Ras al Khaimah, who forwarded the case to Abu Dhabi authorities. Police made several raids across the island and 18 women were rescued.