By Staff writer
Defendant is accused of sneaking into the Address Downtown Dubai hotel while it was ablaze and posting video online
An Emirati has appeared in court after being accused of sneaking into the Address Downtown Dubai hotel while it was ablaze on New Year's Eve and making a video of himself.
The 34-year-old defendant, named only as MA, is charged with wearing an official uniform in public and with impersonating a public employee after dressing up as a firefighter for the stunt, The National reported.
He is also charged over the video he made of himself walking barefoot inside the building as it burned, the newspaper said.
Prosecutors told Dubai Criminal Court that the video made a mockery of firefighters’ efforts to get the fire under control.
“It is true that I made the video but I did not circulate it among the public, I only sent it to a group of my four work colleagues," MA was quoted as telling the presiding judge.
MA claimed he was a firefighter of 15 years, based in Abu Dhabi, and had contacted the head of the on-site control team and volunteered to help put out the fire.
He claimed he was handed the uniform and a pair of shoes so he could help out but that the shoes were too big so he walked barefoot.
The National said the video was spotted online by authorities, after which MA was apprehended, adding that the judge ordered the release of MA after seizing his passport.
The next hearing is on March 27.
The hotel remains closed after an electrical short circuit caused the fire hours before New Year as revellers gathered to watch fireworks at the adjacent Burj Khalifa.