By Sarah Townsend
Cop was jailed for filming himself holding the passport of Barcelona FC footballer Lionel Messi at Dubai airport last year
A Dubai policeman sentenced to jail for snapping a picture of himself holding footballer Lionel Messi’s passport has appealed his case, it has been reported.
Lawyers acting for the Emirati policeman described only as J.J. have claimed he had permission from Messi’s manager to film himself posing with the footballer’s passport at Dubai International Airport in December.
Messi had arrived in Dubai that morning for the Globe Soccer Awards.
According to 7Days, Abdul Muniem Bin Suwaidan of Bin Suwaidan Advocates and Legal Consultants, acting for J.J., told Dubai’s Court of Appeal on Tuesday: “My client took permission from Messi’s manager to make the video but the police waited for nearly four days after the incident happened before they referred him to prosecution.
“Messi stayed for five days so why the wait before making the case? They could have questioned Messi’s business manager.”
The policeman was sentenced to a month in jail in February after he pleaded guilty of breaching the footballer’s privacy but asked for leniency.
The 26-year-old officer had maintained the act was a joke and he did not intend to break the law.
A verdict in the appeal will be issued on March 8, 7Days said.