x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

UAE sedition trial: forensic experts match voices to recordings

Forensic experts matched the voices of nine defendants to recordings of secret meetings, the trial of 94 Emiratis accused of sedition heard when it resumed at the State Security Court today.

ABU DHABI // Forensic experts matched the voices of nine defendants to recordings of secret meetings, the trial of 94 Emiratis accused of sedition heard when it resumed at the State Security Court today.

Prosecutors say the meetings, held in the past three years, were intended to further the group’s aim of destabilising the country.

However, all nine refused to accept the findings of the report from the Dubai Forensics Laboratory, and one of them said he had never provided police with a voice sample.

Judge Falah Al Hajeri also heard from three defence witnesses who said the group was not interested in sedition, but merely providing a good example to young people and preventing them from being tempted into lives of crime.

“The message is clear, and the members are devoted to society. Crime rates are increasing now that the members have been taken away, because these noble people speak the truth for the love of their country and its rulers,” said one of the witnesses.

Another witness said: “They felt marginalised, they were asked to give up their jobs and were not allowed to vote for the Federal National Council.”

Some defendants alleged their case files had been forged by prosecutors, and complained they were still not allowed to see their lawyers.

Defence lawyer Abdulhameed Al Kumaiti, who represents most of the accused, asked that the court not view a video filmed in prison. He said the accused had been forced to take part in the film, but gave no further explanation of its contents.

The case was adjourned to May 6, when the court will be provided a final forensics report and will hear more defence witnesses.

aalkhoori@thenational.ae