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Court of Libyan businessmen began in UAE

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LIBYAPROSPECT – Heba Mahmoud

Criminal federal court of Emirate (UAE) began, Monday, The trial of four Libyan businessmen, accused of supporting and funding 17th February battalion and forces affiliate to Libya Dawn Operation started.

Court session was attended by the accused families, Canadian ambassador, and representatives of United States embassy. The Libyan embassy in UAE was absent.

Their families said, in a statement, that attorneys requested their clients to be presented before the coroner to prove torture and abuses they faced. They also demanded the presence of witnesses, who are the judge, Mustafa Abdel Jalil.

UAE accused the four Libyans with funding and supporting 17th battalion and forces affiliate to Libya Dawn Operation, which are enlisted inside UAE as “terrorist groups” such charges are related to internal Libyan affairs.

From another side, a United Nations committee and human rights experts condemned the trail in UAE, as it based on confessions taken under torture, and described their detention as arbitrary.

The four are; Saleem El-Aradi (with Canadian nationality), Kamal Ahmed, his son Mohamed (hold American nationality), Adel Nasef and Moaz Mohamed Hashmi.

The four detainees were arrested by state security device in August 2014. The United Nations published its report in coincidence with the trail of three detainees (El-Aradi, Dharat and his son).

The UN experts team expressed their concern towards the trail, which is run under rules were not applied at the time of their arrest, in violation to laws stating the non-application of criminal law retroactively.

The UN special rapporteur for torture, Juan Mendez, said that his team received credible information, confirming that the detainees faced torture and were forced to give confessions.

“The detainees were kept in isolated location, in solitary confinement for long times, which increase possibility of their exposure to torture and abuse”, Mendez said.