x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Footballer in court on alcohol-related charges

The renowned UAE player, 26-year-old SA, will also be tried for kidnapping and assault .

A renowned UAE footballer, 26-year-old SA, will appear in Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance on alcohol-related charges.
A renowned UAE footballer, 26-year-old SA, will appear in Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance on alcohol-related charges.

DUBAI // A renowned UAE footballer is due to appear before the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance today, charged with driving while intoxicated, reckless endangerment and consuming alcoholic beverages, said the public prosecution office. Further details of the case were not available, but it is the latest in a series of criminal and misdemeanour cases faced by 26-year-old SA, who plays for a Dubai-based club.

He is being held in detention while under investigation for allegedly firing an unlicensed firearm in Jumeirah pub. The incident was reported in March and the public prosecutor has extended a provisional detention order while the investigation continues. The case has not yet been referred to court, but the footballer could face charges of unlawful possession of a weapon and endangering the life of AJ, a 35-year-old Emirati man, if the prosecution decides to go ahead.

SA was cleared last month in a misdemeanour case that included charges of assault, causing injury, issuing threats and setting other people's property on fire. Abdullah Khalaf Abi Zaid, the presiding judge at the Dubai Misdemeanors Court, second circuit, found SA not guilty on June 8, but he remains in custody pending the conclusion of the remaining cases. SA, who appeared in court last month sporting a scraggly beard and dressed in crisp white prison uniform, beamed as the not-guilty verdict was read out.

He is due to appear in court again on July 13 to answer more serious charges of kidnapping, issuing threats and assault. He is accused of kidnapping a businesswoman and locking her in his apartment, charges he denied before the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance in February. He also denied a charge of attempted kidnap of three Arab girls with the help of another Emirati man. @Email:hbathish@thenational.ae