x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Former US soldier a no show in gun parts case

The case of a US military veteran accused of possessing weapon accessories without a licence has been adjourned.

Abu Dhabi // The case of a US military veteran accused of possessing weapon accessories without a licence was adjourned yesterday because he was not brought to court from his prison cell.

NA, a former US soldier who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, and later worked as a security contractor, was to appear before the State Security Court charged with possessing firearm accessories without a UAE licence.

Chief Justice Shehab al Hammadi scheduled another hearing for next week because NA was not present. It was not clear why he did not appear.

NA's lawyer, Melhim Faiz, could not present his defence yesterday because of his client's absence. Mr Faiz said NA did not possess any weapons and that the components were merely four pieces related to a rifle, including a gun-cleaning brush and a front grip. NA has been in prison for nearly two months, according to his lawyer. He was arrested on September 29 in Abu Dhabi, where he stopped for a day before his scheduled trip home.

Mr Faiz said his client was on his way from Iraq to the United States when he was arrested at the Abu Dhabi International Airport.

The news of his arrest was reported widely in the US, and a Facebook page was created to rally for his release. But US officials told reporters and family they could not interfere in the justice system of a sovereign nation.

 

hhassan@thenational.ae