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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 September 2018

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

The man's lawyer refuted the claims saying one of the alleged incidents dates back to when the accused was only seven-years-old

A Public Prosecution employee is accused of accepting bribes to forge more than 100 court rulings.

His lawyer refuted the claims in court saying one of the incidents the defendant is accused of dates back to when the 21-year-old Emirati was aged only seven-years-old.

“He was born in 1996, and one of the forgeries that the prosecutors claim my client had done happened in 2003. I don't understand how this could possibly be true,” said lawyer Saeed Al Ghilani.

Mr Ghilani said more of the alleged forgery incidents attributed to the defendant occurred while he was in custody. “You will find all of this in the records before you your honour,” he said.

He told the court that even the arrest warrant issued against his client was void.

“It held a generic reason for the arrest, it said — arresting suspect for receiving money- but what does that even mean? We all receive money, the court should not take this warrant and every procedure that followed it, into consideration,” said Mr Al Ghilani

Prosecutors said the accused pocketed more than Dh154,000 in bribes from different men to change 103 rulings. They said that in one case, he took between Dh1,000 and Dh1,500 from six other defendants to change the rulings against them into fines.

Records show that the employee allegedly altered rulings issued in absentia by the Courts of Misdemeanours, Appeal and Residency.

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

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

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.

Records show that after altering the rulings, the accused would print out the new judgments with a confirmation that the ruling 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.

The 21-year-old defendant and five others appeared in court and denied all charges against them. The search for the two accused at large is ongoing.

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