UAE tries eight for supporting 'terrorism', says paper

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DUBAI: Seven Emiratis and an Afghani have gone on trial in the United Arab Emirates on charges of promoting terrorism and raising money to finance acts of violence, the Al-Ittihad newspaper reported on Tuesday.

They appeared on Monday in the Federal Supreme Court in the capital, Abu Dhabi, on charges of belonging to a group that distributes video tapes aiming to recruit people to their network, the paper cited court documents as saying.

The prosecution has accused two of them of financing terrorism and six the others of promoting and supporting terrorism, the paper said.

The eight defendants transcribe the video tapes and distribute them to promote terrorism and support it, while the money gathered is given to the Afghani who uses it to promote terrorist activities, the documents say.

The prosecution submitted evidence from computers and documents seized when the defendants were arrested in October in a group of 21 people, including an Egyptian and another Afghani, the paper said.

It dropped charges against 13 other people, including 12 Emiratis and an Egyptian, who was deported, the paper added.

A Lebanese-American suspected of having links to an Al-Qaeda-backed group in Iraq also went on trial last month on similar charges to which he pleaded not guilty, a local newspaper reported.

Such trials are rare in the relatively stable, oil-rich United Arab Emirates, a federation of seven emirates, where foreigners make up more than 80 percent of the population. -AFP

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