Gulf News, United Arab Emirates
May 5 2008


Ex-inmate argues with Dubai judge in warden case

By Bassam Za'za', Senior Reporter
Published: May 05, 2008, 00:28


Dubai: A frightened former inmate from Egypt and a judge had an
argument in court on Sunday because the former inmate was afraid he
would not be sent back to Egypt if he had to testify now.

The Egyptian completed his sentence last week and will be deported.

The judge warned the 28-year-old Egyptian that his imprisonment would
be extended if he refused to testify before the Dubai Court of First
Instance's bench of three judges.

The argument between the frightened inmate, S.J., and Presiding Judge
Fahmi Mounir lasted about five minutes.

S.J., who is an essential prosecution witness in the case of 25 prison
wardens being tried for abusing their authority and beating inmates,
persistently told Presiding Judge Mounir: "I repeat the statement I
made before the Public Prosecution. I don't want to testify because I
just completed my punishment and I want to get deported. I am afraid
if I testify I won't get deported."

"You have to testify. The court and the Public Prosecution are
different things. I will extend your detention if you keep on
refusing," warned the judge.

Eventually S.J. agreed, and testified: "I was hit by three suspects. I
was forced to lie on my stomach while they beat me."

When asked by the judge to identify who beat him from among the 25
wardens who were present at courtroom four, he pointed at two of the
defendants.

Defence lawyers, including Khalifa Al Salman, Ali Mosabah, Amal Bakri,
Kawthar Marwan, Samir Jaafar and Nabih Badr, also questioned
S.J. during the 9am hearing.

The Public Prosecution charged some of the accused with abusing their
power and beating 41-year-old Armenian inmate, S.K., who was later
deported. He sustained a ten per cent permanent disability to his
spinal cord.

Other building

"I didn't see anyone beat S.K. because he was detained in another
building. Some inmates alleged that S.K. was beaten, while others
claimed he fell down the stairs," said the Egyptian witness.

The accused, excluding the former director of the prison, were all
charged with injuring inmates by using excessive force against
them. The former director and one of the lieutenants were charged with
inciting the others to commit violent and abusive acts.