x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Dubai men cleared of insulting policeman on JBR beach

The Appeals Court in Dubai overturns jail sentences and deportation order for two drunk men jailed for insulting a policeman.

DUBAI // A policeman showering on JBR public beach had his private parts on show, the Appeals Court heard today.

The claim was made by the lawyer of two men sentenced to jail for insulting the Emirati policeman, telling him that he was indecent and blaspheming.

The Tunisians JA, a 38-year-old manager, and EA, a 34-year-old executive, were each sentenced to jail and fined Dh15,000 by the Misdemeanours Court - two years and Dh10,000 for the blasphemy, six months and Dh3,000 for the insults and Dh2,000 for the illegal consumption of alcohol. The court also ordered they be deported following their jail terms.

But the Appeals Court revoked the custodial sentence and deportation order after the lawyer for the two men Yousuf Al Bahar argued that the incident was provoked when the wife of one of the men noticed her three-year-old daughter looking at the policeman, and realised his "private parts were showing".

When the men asked the policeman, 21-year-old SM from Sharjah, to cover up because he was in a place filled with families and children, the officer took advantage of his position and insulted the two men, said Mr Al Bahar.

The disagreement took place at about 7pm on May 4 this year, shortly after the policeman had taken a dip off the JBR public beach behind the Hilton Hotel. The policeman claims that when he visited the showers he took off his swimming shorts, but did not take off his underwear. He said the two men then approached him and insulted him for showing his body.

The policeman said he told them that all the other beach goers were dressed similarly, and that he was not showing himself. He also said he warned both men of his profession.

The officer's friend, 22-year-old KK, told the court that he was standing next to the policeman at the time and overheard the insults, which included remarks about the officer's mother and blasphemous curses.

However, Mr Al Bahar said that the police officer insulted the two men in return. "But at the police station, my clients were denied their right of lodging a complaint," he said.

Despite overturning the jail sentence and deportation order, the Appeals Court ordered that the men must still pay their fines of Dh15,000 each.

salamir@thenational.ae