x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Laptop theft confession illegal, court told

Man is accused of taking woman's laptop and holding the personal pictures on it for Dh200,000 ransom.

ABU DHABI // A TV cameraman accused of stealing a colleague's laptop and asking for a Dh200,000 ransom was tricked into confessing, a court was told today.

MM, an Emirati, was arrested during Ramadan in a police sting operation.

"When we took him to the station he insisted he wanted to confront the complainant," one of the Criminal Investigation Department officers said in the Criminal Court of First Instance. "She then told him 'confess that you did this and this and this ... listing four charges, and I will forgive you'."

According to the witness, MM told her: "Let's imagine I did all of these things; I am very sorry, will you forgive me now?"

At that point the woman jumped up and told the officers, "See, he confessed."

However, according to the CID agent, that was not a legal confession.

When he was arrested, MM said he had been in a relationship with the woman and they were nearly engaged when a disagreement occurred.

He said she gave him the laptop to fix, and he did not steal it. He is accused of asking for money to not distribute personal pictures on it.

MM's attorney asked to present their mobile phones to check the love messages between them.

The case has been adjourned until October 23.

hdajani@thenational.ae