x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Policeman accused of robbery was 'busy extorting', says lawyer

His lawyer says he is not guilty of a robbery in Musaffah as he was extorting shops in Shahama.

ABU DHABI // A policeman accused of robbery in Musaffah could not be guilty, said his lawyer, because he was busy at the time extorting money from shops in Shahama. 

The officer, SN, who works for the ambulance department in Al Rahba, appeared in the Criminal Court of First Instance yesterday charged with robbery and impersonating a CID officer.

SN had previously been convicted of threatening shops in Shahama with Dh10,000 fines for breaking hygiene laws if they did not pay him Dh1,000. 

His latest alleged victim claimed SN had kidnapped him in Musaffah before taking him to a shop in Shahama where he stole Dh14,000 and 32 du phonecards worth Dh50 each. SN's lawyer claimed the victim's testimony contradicted itself. 

"When the victim was asked about the timing of the incident, he said in the police report it occurred at 3.30 in the afternoon, then during investigations he said it occurred at six in the evening. Then when the prosecutor asked him he said it occurred between two and 2.30," the lawyer said.

"At first, the victim said that the defendant took out the Dh14,000 from his wallet, then, during investigations he said he took out the Dh14,000 from a plastic bag from his pocket," he continued. 

The victim also gave contradicting details of the kidnapping, the lawyer said. At first, he testified that SN had handcuffed him and covered his head with a bag while they travelled in a car. But he later said he had seen traffic signs indicating they were driving towards Dubai.

"How can he see the signs if his head was covered with a bag?" the lawyer asked. His final argument, which he said was key to proving his client's innocence, was that in a previous case in which SN was convicted, he had been shown to be in Shahama at 2.30pm on the same day as the latest alleged incident - which took place in Musaffah. 

"How can he be in Musaffah and in Shahama at the same time?" the lawyer asked.

hdajani@thenational.ae