Sheikh Issa’s acquittal “questionable”
International human rights body Amnesty International…
January 13, 2010 4:13 by kippreport
International human rights body Amnesty International has said that the acquittal of Sheikh Issa bin Zayed al-Nahyan, a member of Abu Dhabi’s ruling family, by a UAE court was “very questionable.” Sheikh Issa was charged with endangering the life and “causing bodily harm and rape” of an Afghani merchant in 2004. The court acquitted him on Sunday, saying that he had been acting under the influence of drugs and so had “diminished liability” for the assault.
“We were not in court and so cannot be certain as to the judge’s reasoning, but this does appear to be a very questionable verdict”, said Malcolm Smart, director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa program.
“It will do little to dispel concern that the sheikh’s position as a member of Abu Dhabi’s ruling family may have been the decisive factor in ensuring his acquittal, especially as it took the authorities several years even to bring the prosecution.”