x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Three-month sentence given to Egyptian woman who used twin's passport to enter UAE

In a rare move, the Federal Supreme Court issued a new verdict for a defendant accused of illegally entering the country, citing her emotional and psychological suffering.

ABU DHABI // In a rare move, the Federal Supreme Court issued a new verdict for a defendant accused of illegally entering the country, citing her emotional and psychological suffering. The court's rulings are not subject to appeal without permission from the federal attorney general. But Chief Justice Shahab al Hammadi told her yesterday in court: "we took into consideration the circumstances that led you to use your passport." EM, an Egyptian woman, illegally re-entered the country using her twin sister's passport late last year. The circumstances for her subterfuge: her husband divorced her and took her passport while they were out of the country, making it impossible for her to return to Abu Dhabi, her job and her children. And just one day after she came back, she turned herself in to authorities. EM, who worked as a bank manager in Abu Dhabi, travelled to Egypt on vacation with her husband in the summer of 2009. According to her testimony, her husband divorced her while in Egypt and immediately returned to Abu Dhabi, taking with him their two boys and her passport. EM was resolute in her desire to return to Abu Dhabi to see her children, resolve the conflict with her husband and inform her employer of her departure. She said she used her twin sister's passport to enter through the Abu Dhabi International Airport on October 16, 2009. "I can't explain why I did this, but once I arrived, I realised the mistake I made," EM told the judge today. On October 17, EM surrendered to the authorities and was arrested. She has been in prison since then, and was sentenced to three years and deportation by the Federal Supreme Court last month. The time she served in prison will count towards her new three-month sentence, and she is due to be deported to Egypt in the coming weeks. Her husband's whereabouts are not known and she told the court today that she can not contact him, because he changed his mobile number. hhassan@thenational.ae myoussef@thenational.ae