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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 September 2018

Dubai court employee who changed rulings in exchange for bribes is jailed 

The defendant took more than Dh154,000 in bribes from six men to change 103 rulings made by the Courts of Misdemeanours, Appeal and Residency

A Dubai Public Prosecution employee was sentenced to 10 years in prison for accepting bribes to change more than 100 court rulings.

The 21-year-old Emirati took more than Dh154,000 in bribes from six men to change 103 rulings made by the Courts of Misdemeanours, Appeal and Residency.

Prosecutors said the man took between Dh1,000 and Dh1,500 from the six other defendants to change court rulings issued against them in absentia into fines.

The employee worked at Public Prosecution’s Criminal Rulings Execution Section, and was tipped off to police in April 2016 for changing sentences issued between January 2015 and March 2016.

Chief Prosecutor Salem Bin Khadem carried out a 15-month investigation after which the employee was charged with abusing his position, accepting bribes, and forgery by accessing the classified filing system to change the judgements.

Records showed that after altering the rulings, the employee would print out the new judgments with a confirmation that the sentence had been executed.

The court was told that the main defendant allegedly changed a six-month judgment issued against a defendant in a bounced cheque case to a Dh10,000-fine and changed another ruling of six months and deportation, to a Dh2000-fine.

In a hearing held earlier this month, the lawyer defending the Emirati employee argued that one of the forgery incidents his client was being accused of was dated back to when the defendant was seven years old.

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Read more: Public Prosecution employee accused of 'accepting bribes to alter court rulings'

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He also said the arrest warrant issued against his client was void because the reason for arrest was generic.

“It said - arresting suspect for receiving money - but what does that even mean, we all receive money your honour, therefore the court should not take this warrant and every procedure that followed it, into consideration,” said lawyer Saeed Al Ghilani.

Three Indian men, who worked for law firms in Dubai, a Jordanian public prosecution employee, and a Yemeni inspector at a government department, were all charged with aiding and abetting the 21-year-old defendant.

Two other Indian defendants, also charged with aiding and abetting, remain at large. Those who appeared in court, denied charges against them in May last year.

On Sunday, the Yemeni inspector, Jordanian accused and one Indian defendant, were cleared of the charges while the remaining defendants were convicted and sentenced to ten years in prison. They were fined, along with the Emirati employee, Dh50,000 each and jointly ordered to pay a fine of Dh154,500.

The expat defendants will be deported upon serving their terms, which can be appealed within two weeks.

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