x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Man accused of passport forgery thought he was buying original

A man accused of forging a South African passport told a court today that he thought he was buying an original from a company.

ABU DHABI // A man accused of forging a South African passport told a court today that he thought he was buying an original from a company.

"I did not violate any rules, I bought the passport," Palestinian MS said at the state security court.

The man said he had already acquired a South African passport before, since his Palestinian passport is very restrictive.

"I had a valid UAE residency visa on it," he said.

When it was time to renew, MS did it through an agency and, he claimed, he did not know that he was issued with a forgery. He thought it was a "normal" procedure to buy one through an agency, the court heard.

"Those ads on the internet can easily fool people," he added. "Why don't they get blocked like other blocked sites?"

MS pleaded for an acquittal while his lawyer, Mohammed Al Zaabi, asked for an adjournment to prepare his defence.

The next hearing will take place on January 7.

hdajani@thenational.ae