x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Royal wedding staff jailed over wrong passes appeal

Two workers found at the wedding in Dubai without the correct pass cards are appeal against their jail sentences.

ABU DHABI // Two men sentenced to jail after being found at a royal wedding with the incorrect passes told the appeals court today they were support staff merely trying to do their jobs.

One of the two men - who were both sentenced to three months jail and deportation - was working for Elite, the company that provided catering for the event, while the other man was working for Jumeirah, the company in charge of the hotel hosting it.

Elite's operations manager told the court he had furnished Jumeirah with a full list of his employees that would be attending, including the sentenced worker.

"But many of the pass cards we received had factual errors, some had the name wrong, some had the picture wrong, some did not even have a picture," he said, adding that he received only some of the cards before the day of the wedding.

"The company told us we could receive the rest at the main gate of the hotel in the morning," he said.

However, none of the drivers received their passes.

The manager said that one of his employees, the Filipino AM, was required to drive into the hotel so that the catering company's equipment could be offloaded.

The driver had been in and out of the venue a couple of times before being stopped by a security guard at the gate.

"I explained to them that many passes had errors and that [AM] just wanted to offload the things," said the manager. "They told me it's only a simple security procedure and that everything would be OK."

The other man, BK, from India, who works for Jumeirah company, was caught using the pass of one of his colleagues. He too said he was merely trying to do his job.

The case was adjourned to August 12.

hdajani@thenational.ae