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Dubai: An Emirati lawyer has filed a criminal complaint against four lawyers, who he accused of insulting him, in a civil claim document presented to court, Gulf News has learnt.

In an unprecedented case, the four lawyers have gone on trial accused of insulting the Emirati lawyer.

Defence lawyer Nasser Hashim, from Al Kabban Associates, who is representing the four lawyers, said that his clients were found not guilty by the Court of First Instance, but Dubai Public Prosecution appealed the verdict.

During a Dubai Appeal Court hearing, Hashim called on His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to issue a directive not to detain or jail any lawyer as a result of practicing their legal profession in the UAE.

The bizarre case started when a businessman paid $2 million (Dh7.3 million) for legal consultancy to an Emirati lawyer in Dubai, but after claiming his company never received the consultancy, he demanded a refund.

The businessman then went to a second law firm (owned by the four lawyers in the insult case) asking for them to file a case against the Emirati lawyer. They registered a civil case against the law firm and presented a defence document saying that he illegally obtained their client’s money without offering legal services in return.

HOW IT STARTED

The bizarre case started when a businessman paid $2 million (Dh7.3 million) for legal consultancy to an Emirati lawyer in Dubai, but after claiming his company never received the consultancy, he demanded a refund. 

The businessman then went to a second law firm (owned by the four lawyers in the insult case) asking for them to file a case against the Emirati lawyer. They registered a civil case against the law firm and presented a defence document saying that he illegally obtained their client’s money without offering legal services in return.

 

The Emirati lawyer went to Al Rifaa Police Station in last September and filed a complaint against the four lawyers, which include an Iraqi and three Emiratis.

Dubai Public Prosecution charged the four lawyers with insulting the Emirati in the civil case submission that explained how he had illegally taken money from their client.

The Emirati lawyer told prosecution that he was humiliated and that his reputation was ruined when the four defendants wrote in their submission that he (the victim) had used his law firm to illegally obtain money from their client.

However, the four lawyers were found innocent by the Dubai Court of First Instance in March of this year. The prosecution then appealed the verdict.

“I was offended in this civil case when they accused me of illegally obtaining money,” said the Emirati lawyer in court on Thursday. “It is a false claim. I have represented many government entities over the last 22 years of work and have a decent reputation.”

During a three-hour hearing at the Appeal Court, Hashim said that the case was a shock to all lawyers in the UAE as it was the first time in Dubai that lawyers were accused of using foul language when representing their clients in a civil claim.

“Lawyers have no protection or immunity as we have seen in this case,” Hashim told Gulf News.

“Lawyers have become suspects in the case because they were doing their job. How can the prosecution refer lawyers to the criminal court for defending their clients and doing their jobs? We call on His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum to issue directives of not to detain or jail any lawyer as a consequence of doing their work lawfully within their profession, just like the directives he issued in the past for journalists,” he added.

Hashem presented a defence sheet to the Appeal Court requesting that the innocent verdict issued by the Court of First Instance be upheld.

“The lawyer has a major role in achieving justice, but if the lawyer is scared or feels that he can be prosecuted for doing his work as a legal professional then they can’t work to defend their clients in the UAE. Lawyers shouldn’t feel afraid while performing their job in courts,” he added.

A verdict is expected on June 13.

https://gulfnews.com/uae/crime/four-lawyers-on-trial-for-insults-in-court-document-1.63796672?fbclid=IwAR2hab9hTv1G_4Zd4-pfckvjGY6VIGcemjZEvuQH4mGtO05Hp0Pyf54duzM