By Beatrice Thomas
Judge says medical reports show accused “not injured” or “tortured”.
UAE prosecutors have set out their case against nine expatriate Arabs charged with joining Al Qaeda as they called for “appropriate punishment”, state news agency WAM reported.
The nine are accused of collecting donations and recruiting fighters for Al Nusra Front in Syria, with two members of the group also charged with setting up and managing a website dedicated to promoting Al Qaeda and helping recruit men to fight abroad.
WAM said members of the cell had "collected funds and channelled them to a terrorist organisation, the Al Nusra Front" and "made individuals participate and join a terrorist organisation".
Al Nusra Front, one of the main groups fighting to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Al Assad, is an affiliate of Al Qaeda and has been designated by the United States and by Arab countries as a terrorist group.
The agency did not say when or how members of the group were arrested, or which countries they were from. However, at the State Security Circuit at the Federal Supreme Court on Monday, WAM said a representative from the Tunisian Embassy was in court.
Presiding Judge Falah Al Hajeri said that medical reports show that the accused were not injured and had undergone any torture.
It also emerged that one of the nine accused is still at large.
He court was adjourned until Monday when defence lawyers are due to outline their pleas.