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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 28 May 2018

Government officials have acquittal for privacy breach overturned

Three government officials who installed CCTV cameras in a women’s customer service centre will once again appear in court after their acquittal was overturned by the appeals court.

ABU DHABI // Three government officials who installed CCTV cameras in a women’s customer service centre will once again appear in court after their acquittal was overturned by the appeals court.

Tuesday’s ruling upheld the first verdict issued in the case by the Court of Misdemeanor, which found the trio guilty of breaching employees’ privacy.

AK, the Emirati general director of the authority, MA, the manager of the branch, and P, the IT manager, were issued six-months suspended jail sentences for breaching the privacy of female staff working at the centre in Al Ain, where they placed the cameras. The court also issued a deportation order against Lebanese defendant P.

All defendants have denied their charges throughout the case as it passed through first instance, appeals, cassation and appeals again.

They argued that the cameras, which the employees were aware of, had been introduced for security purposes. They also argued that the authority’s regulations did not entitle employees to any privacy, for security reasons.

The defendants spent two months in jail before being released on bail after an order by a judge at the Appeals Court.

The appeals court on Tuesday found the first appeals court’s verdict vague and unclear in identifying the elements it based its acquittal upon. The case will be sent back to appeals to be heard by a new panel of judges.

hdajani@thenational.ae