x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Man jailed for spying on UAE sheikhs for Iran

A Pakistani man was found guilty of passing on details and images of members of the Ruling Family to Iranian intelligence.

ABU DHABI // A man has been convicted of spying on members of the UAE Ruling Family for the Iranian government.

The Pakistani was found guilty in the State Security Court of corresponding with Tehran through its embassy in the capital, and providing information and images of the sheikhs and government buildings to damage the country's political status.

He gave the information to an embassy worker who was identified as an intelligence officer. An Iranian man was charged with the same counts but acquitted on all.

In July last year, national security officers arrested the Pakistani after searching his house and car. He worked in an Abu Dhabi palace until 2007, then became a personal driver to one of the sheikhs.

Security officers said the defendant confessed to meeting the Iranian intelligence officer, HN, in 2010 when he went to the embassy to deliver some gifts.

He said the officer asked him for details on the sheikh's relations with countries including Bahrain, Jordan, the UK, US and France. The defendant was asked to take pictures of the sheikhs, the Armed Forces, and embassies.

The embassies included those of Egypt, the US and the UK. The intelligence officer also wanted pictures of the Abu Dhabi International Airport and the airport runways and the Presidential Flight.

In return, the defendant received Dh30,000 from the intelligence officer. In court, he claimed the money he received was a personal loan.

The other defendant, MD from Iran, worked for Dubai Police since 1988, and said he went to the embassy over a marital dispute. His wife is also Iranian.

MD confessed he had phone conversations with the intelligence officer and had met him twice, but only in regards to his marital dispute.

Evidence showed he did not co-operate with the intelligence officer and he was later acquitted.

The Pakistani was found guilty of all charges and must serve an undisclosed prison sentence.