x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Cleared imam 'should stand trial again'

Public prosecutors argued the legality of the acquittal and ask the court to overturn the verdict and retry the case in the appeals court

DUBAI // An imam found not guilty on appeal of molesting a child was back in court yesterday after prosecutors appealed the ruling at Dubai Court of Cassation.


Public prosecutors argued the legality of the acquittal and prosecutor Abdel Rahman al Memari asked the court to overturn the verdict and retry the case in the appeals court.

D?H, a 26-year-old Indian, was charged with sexually assaulting his eight-year-old American pupil at a mosque in the Jumeirah Lakes Towers’ Tiffany Towers on January 26.

Prosecutors said the boy was taken to a private room and molested while the his 10-year-old brother was told to sit in a corner of the mosque and memorise verses from the Quran. 

In May, the Dubai Criminal Court found D?H guilty and sentenced him to three years in prison.

On appeal, however, D?H was cleared after new evidence was revealed to court showing he was assaulted at the Jebel Ali Police Station by eight officers. D?H’s lawyer also argued that there were inaccuracies in the father’s statements. 

The court dismissed the police officers’ evidence after ruling that D?H had been coerced into a confession by being beaten.

The court also dismissed the father’s evidence as hearsay, as he reported the crime without presenting any factual evidence.  

Prosecutor al Memari told the court yesterday that the father’s evidence was not hearsay and that he was a material witness.

Furthermore, Mr al Memari said, the court had dismissed a fundamental police witness who was not involved in the assault and was pinpointed by D?H as being cooperative.

In response to this petition, advocate Harun Tahlak, from Dubai Advocates and Legal Consultants, told the court the Public Prosecutor’s arguments had no grounding and that the acquittal was based on facts.

Mr Tahlak said that dismissal of all police evidence, including the police witness in question, was a correct procedure.
The court will reconvene on October 25 to issue its verdict.

amustafa@thenational.ae