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Tue 2 Jul 2013 03:26 PM

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Background to UAE94 trial

Court's transparency, fairness and independence were upheld, Ministry of Justice stated

Background to UAE94 trial

The
State Security Court of the Federal Supreme Court of the United Arab Emirates
today announced the individual verdicts on 94 UAE defendants accused of various
charges including, establishing a clandestine organisation seeking to overthrow
the UAE Government, according to a statement from the Ministry of Justice.

According
to a statement issued by the WAM news agency, 84 of the 94 defendants (72 male
and 12 female) were present in the courtroom as the judge read the respective
verdict to each defendant. Ten verdicts were read in absentia for the
defendants at large.

The
defendants were accused of charges related to the violation of UAE Penal Code
Articles 155, 160, 169, 170, 171, 180 and 182.

Article
180 relates to the "establishing, instituting, founding, organising,
administering or joining an association, corporation, organisation or any
branch thereof, with the aim of overthrowing the regime of the State, or
publicising it where the use of force is noticeable."

As
per the UAE constitution and law, the Ministry of Justice stated that the
court's transparency, fairness and independence were upheld, with more than 500
observers in attendance at each court hearing, including family members of the
defendants, representatives of the national media and the Emirates Human Rights
Association, a registered NGO.

Human
rights advocates in the United Arab Emirates are given all judicial and
administrative guarantees to carry out their activities without restrictions
within the provisions of law.

The
verdicts produced by the four-month long State Security trial cannot be
appealed, and those found guilty will begin serving their sentences
immediately, including time already served.

The
case was investigated, prosecuted and tried before an independent judiciary in
full compliance with the applicable procedural, evidentiary and legal standards
of the UAE judicial system.

The
UAE judicial system ensures that the rule of law prevails and that no person is
above the law. Therefore anyone can resort to the public authorities to report
assault, request protection, or claim compensation and ensure that any person
committing any offence or felony is punished under law.

Article
25 of the UAE Constitution states categorically that: "All persons are
equal before the law, without distinction between citizens of the Federation in
regard to race, nationality, religious belief and social status."

As
required by UAE law, each defendant has the right to their own legal
representation. In cases where a defendant cannot afford a lawyer, the court
will provide one.

Articles
1 to 8 of Law No. 3 of 26 May 1993 guarantee the independence of Judges.

Definition
of the UAE Penal Code Article 180 Article 180 relates to the acts of
"establishing, instituting, founding, organising, administering or joining
an association, corporation, organisation or any branch thereof, with the aim
of overthrowing the regime of the State, or publicising it where the use of
force is noticeable."

It
also relates to the acts of "receiving or obtaining funds of any kind from
a person or body abroad, whether directly or through an intermediary, if the
purpose of this is to publicise any of the things provided for in this
Article."

The
United Arab Emirates Ministry of Justice remains committed to contributing to
the ongoing maintenance of a safe and secure environment and the freedom of
movement for all UAE citizens and residents whilst ensuring the full
application of the due process of law in the event of suspected threats to
national security.

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