x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Death threat texts earn six-month sentence

Man told two people that Iranian hit men had been sent to kill them, court rules.

DUBAI // A man who sent death threat text messages claiming that the Iranian government had sent assassins to kill two people in the UAE was sentenced to six months in prison this morning.

The Iranian businessman NN, 33, was convicted in the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance of threatening to kill the 39-year-old German businessman MS and a 36-year-old Canadian businesswoman, MH, in January.

Court records say NN wanted to recoup US$1 million (Dh3.67m) he had lost in a business deal.

The records show NN called MH on the evening of January 21, saying he was interested in real estate investments.

"I met him at 8pm that day, and he then said he wanted to talk about MS, not about real estate," MH said.

She said NN asked her to provide him with contact information for MS, but she refused and left. He then sent her text messages threatening to kill her and MS, records show.

Prosecutors said NN continued texting her, saying he would not allow her to leave the country or even her house. He said he would have her imprisoned.

One of the messages said, "MS will be executed," while another said, "In few days, you will hear news of MS' death."

MS told prosecutors MH called him that night and told him what had happened. He said his brother also contacted him from the US and warned him that unknown people had been calling and threatening to kill him.

He said NN had called about his whereabouts, and he said he was out of the country, to which NN allegedly replied that he would have ended up dead had he been in the UAE.

"He told me the Iranian government sent men from Iran specifically to kill me," MS said in records.

MS said NN asked him to return the US$1m from a woman identified as NP, with whom he had done business.

During police investigations, NN confessed to charges.