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Tue 15 Mar 2016 10:58 AM

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Seven accused of spying for Hezbollah deny charges in UAE court

Supreme Federal Court adjourns hearing into defendants charged with providing classified information to militant group

Seven accused of spying for Hezbollah deny charges in UAE court

Seven people accused of providing classified information to Lebanese militant group Hezbollah have denied all charges during a Supreme Federal Court hearing in the UAE.

Public prosecutors said that the defendants had been accused of a range of crimes, including passing details about the UAE armed forces’ procurement contracts, and a list of the names and ranks of state security officers, to Hezbollah.

One of the accused, an Egyptian geologist working in the energy sector, was accused of passing on information about oil field locations and oil production levels, as well as email contacts of his company’s employees.

Another defendant was accused of creating and managing an “unlicensed international group” as a front for Hezbollah.

The court adjourned the case until 18 April.

The six-member Gulf Cooperation Council recently designated Hezbollah a terrorist organisation, ratcheting up pressure on the Iran-allied group that wields influence in Lebanon and plays a key role in the Syrian crisis.

Gulf Arab states imposed sanctions on Hezbollah members in 2013 in retaliation for the group's intervention in Syria's civil war in support of President Bashar Al Assad. And individual GCC countries - including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain - have labelled the group terrorists.

The UAE has forbidden its citizens from travelling to Lebanon.

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