Dubai: A passenger, who assaulted a policeman when he tried to handcuff him for refusing to have his luggage searched, won his appeal and had his six-month imprisonment reduced to three months.
The Australian passenger was flying via Dubai in transit and had been offered a hotel stay after a technical glitch forced the international carrier with whom he was flying to Sydney to delay the trip for a day in July.
Having been deplaned after four hours of waiting on board the carrier that was supposed to take off at 8.30am, the Australian and other passengers were provided with a hotel stay near Dubai International Airport.
When asked by inspectors to have his luggage searched, the Australian turned rowdy and refused to place his luggage in the scanning machine.
After failing to talk him into having his luggage searched, customs inspectors called up policemen present at the airport.
As the policeman tried to convince the defendant to have his luggage searched, the latter angrily refused and said that he had been on a long flight.
When a police lieutenant tried to handcuff the defendant to take him to for questioning, he pulled the policeman by his shirt and violently assaulted him. The two men fell down and the policeman injured his knee and ankle.
In January, the Dubai Court of First Instance convicted the Australian defendant of assaulting the policeman and injuring him while he was carrying out his duty and jailed him for six months.
The accused appealed his imprisonment and pleaded not guilty before the Dubai Appeal Court.
Presiding judge Saeed Salem Bin Sarm accepted the defendant’s appeal and reduced his punishment to three months on grounds of leniency.
According to the appellate ruling, the accused will be deported.
The policeman testified that customs inspectors informed him about the passenger’s refusal to have his luggage searched.
“He was very angry and shouted loudly. When asked why he was refusing to be searched, he replied angrily because he had been on a very long flight and had been repeatedly searched. Once my supervisor instructed me to handcuff him, the accused grabbed me [by] the shirt and resisted arrest. We both fell down and I was injured when he assaulted me. However, we managed to restrain him and took him into custody,” the policeman told prosecutors.
A customs inspector said the accused turned unnecessarily angry and shouted loudly at them when they repeatedly asked him to put his luggage in the scanner.
The appellate judgement remains subject to appeal before the Cassation Court.