x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

US judge refuses to intervene in UAE trial

A US judge denies a request to intervene in the trial of an American citizen facing terrorism charges in the UAE.

A US judge has denied a request to intervene in the trial of an American citizen facing terrorism charges in the UAE. James Robertson, the US District Judge, ruled yesterday that he did not have the authority to interfere in the foreign criminal prosecution of Naji Hamdan, 43, who is on trial in Abu Dhabi on terrorism related charges. The Obama administration said it supported the ruling.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) accused the US of requesting Mr Hamdan's arrest, detention and prosecution in the UAE because there was not enough evidence to convict him under US law. The FBI submitted a declaration in the case that its agents were not involved in Mr Hamdan's arrest and did not share their opinions about the case with the UAE. But the ACLU argued that did not rule out involvement from other US agencies.

The ACLU filed a lawsuit in Washington, DC, asking Judge Robertson to order the US to rescind its request for the UAE to pursue Mr Hamdan's prosecution, but Judge Robertson dismissed its case. Mr Hamdan has been in UAE custody since August 2008 and has been charged with three terrorism offences, while he has alleged that he has been abused while in custody. * With additional reporting by Associated Press