x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Dubai expat acquitted over sending text message Islam insult

A British expatriate accused of sending a text message that insulted Islam and the Prophet Mohammed to a colleague has been acquitted.

DUBAI // An expatriate who was accused of sending a text message insulting Islam and the Prophet Mohammed to a colleague was acquitted this morning.

DM, a Briton, was accused of sending the message to his fellow sales executive KS, 24, after a business trip to Saudi Arabia in March last year.

The sales executive claimed that the Briton had reprimanded him for performing Umra after work hours during the trip, telling him that this was not an approved company activity.

When they returned to Dubai on March 15, the sales executive resigned. He claimed that two days later the Briton sent him a text message that insulted Islam and the Prophet Mohammed and warned him that he "knew lots of sheikhs".

The Briton was arrested on March 18 at his workplace in Oud Metha and taken to Rafaa Police Station where he was interrogated.

He denied sending the message, saying the only message he sent following the man's resignation was one that "wished him the best in the future".

When confronted with the message that included insults to Islam, he said that he was "stunned" to know the message was sent from his number and that he believed he had been set up using "some computer technologies".

He said he was asleep at the time the message was sent and that he had requested records of his mobile phone activity after he was informed of the complaint. He said these records proved he sent no such message.

The Misdemeanours Court acquitted the sales executive of four charges of insulting Islam and the Prophet Mohammed and one of insulting KS.

The court received a report from Etisalat Telecommunication in which it said that it was possible for a text message to be sent through certain websites on the internet in which the sender chooses the phone number he desires to appear as the sender.

salamir@thenational.ae