x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Woman unaware school certificate was fake as she 'forgot how to read'

Sudanese woman who submitted a forged school certificate for accreditation tells an Abu Dhabi court that she was unable to tell the document was fake because she had forgotten how to read.

ABU DHABI // A woman who submitted a forged school certificate for accreditation told a court yesterday that she was unable to tell the document was fake because she had forgotten how to read.

SH submitted a Sudanese 10th grade certificate to UAE officials for accreditation, despite having dropped out of school after seventh grade.

She was charged with forgery after officials discovered the certificate was fake.

The woman, now 45, told the Criminal Court she had asked her friend in Sudan to send her the certificate and paid Dh2,000 to cover stamps, fees, transport and other costs.

She said that when she received the certificate, she was unaware it was fake, because she had forgotten how to read.

The woman is originally from Sudan but has taken Emirati citizenship after marrying a local man.

Her defence lawyer Hadeya Al Hammadi argued her client had no criminal intent and said it would make no sense to pay only Dh2,000 for a fake diploma. "Maybe Dh10,000 or Dh20,000, but not Dh2,000!" she said.

The court sentenced the woman to a suspended three month jail term.

hdajani@thenational.ae