x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Swearing motorist's jail term reduced

Man who swore at a police sergeant has his six-month prison sentence reduced to one month by the appeals court and will now be set free.

A motorist who swore at a police sergeant who was tailgating him had his six-month prison sentence reduced to one month by the Appeals Court today.

FM, an American aviation engineer, was sentenced by the Criminal Court on the grounds that he had confessed to raising his middle finger to the officer - yet he told the Appeals Court that he meant to confess only to raising his hand, not the finger.

His lawyer Musalam Al Katheeri added that the original verdict was partly based on the testimony of a third person, "but there is not mention of [this person] anywhere in the case files".

The American will now be set free as he has already served a month in prison. The Appeals Court also overturned the decision by the Criminal Court to deport him after his sentence.

The Criminal Court heard at the man's original trial that he made the rude gesture after being tailgated by the policeman, who flashed his front lights at him in an effort to make him move over.

The police sergeant said he then stopped the man and asked him if he had indeed made a rude gesture. He told the court that the American admitted raising his middle finger, saying it was a normal act in the US. The sergeant said he told the man it was forbidden in the UAE and filed a complaint against him.

hdajani@thenational.ae