x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

UAE Supreme Court rejects extradition of terrorism suspect

Court rejects the extradition request for a Syrian accused of carrying out a 'terrorist act' that killed 17 people in Damascus in 2008.

ABU DHABI //The Supreme Court has rejected an extradition request for a Syrian accused of carrying out a "terrorist act" that killed 17 people in Damascus in 2008.

The judges said that although the man, who was not identified in court documents released yesterday, was tried in Abu Dhabi, he was arrested in Ras al Khaimah, where he lived with his father. According to the justices, that meant the request at the Abu Dhabi Federal Court of Appeal was filed in the wrong jurisdiction. That court had approved the extradition request from Syria last October.

The Syrian pleaded not guilty in Abu Dhabi to carrying out the attack; prosecutors said the crime met extradition requirements.

In rejecting that argument, Dr Abdulwahab Abdul, the president and chief justice of the Federal Supreme Court, wrote: "Any judicial body must stick to what is mandated to it by the Constitution and must not exceed it. It must not relinquish its authority or assume the authority of another court."

Prosecutors may now pursue the extradition request at another court, which will try the extradition hearing from the beginning.

The 17 people were killed in a car blast in September 2008 in Damascus close to Al Sayyida Zainab shrine, a popular destination for Shi'ite pilgrims.

 

hhassan@thenational.ae