Emirati officials on trial for links to Hizballah

Emirati officials on trial for links to Hizballah
Emirati and foreigners went on trial in the UAE for allegedly collaborating with Lebanese militant groups Hizballah, while a controversial former police chief accuses the group of war crimes.
3 min read
15 March, 2016
Hizballah supporters during a ''Victory over Israel'' rally in 2006 in Beirut [File photo: Getty]

The trial of Emirati and foreign nationals on charges of forming a terror cell linked to Hizballah has begun as a senior UAE official accused the Lebanese Shia militant party of "war crimes".

Two Emirati nationals and five foreigners are being tried by the state security court, which is carried out behind closed doors with media or the public unable to attend.

The cases include a UAE police officer who is accused of providing military information to Hizballah, local press reported on Tuesday.

The other Emirati defendant allegedly gave the Shia movement details of interior ministry officials, al-Ittihad newspaper said.

An Egyptian woman who worked for an oil company is also accused of passing information about the sector to Hizballah, which was classified last week by both the Arab League and Gulf monarchies as a "terrorist group" as tensions sour between the party and Saudi Arabia, the leading GCC country.

Three Lebanese nationals and an Iraqi are also accused of being part of the cell, the paper said, adding that the court scheduled the next hearing for 18 April.

Foreign media are not allowed access to state security trials.

The same court is expected to give its verdict on 4 April in the trial of three other Lebanese defendants, including a Canadian dual national, also accused of forming a group linked to Hizballah.

A number of Lebanese Shia families were expelled from Bahrain on Monday for alleged affiliation to Hizballah, a day after Riyadh said it would punish anyone with ties to the group.

War crimes

Hizballah will face consequences for interfering in the affairs of Gulf countries, said Dubai's outspoken General Security chief Dhahi Khalfan in a series of tweets on Tuesday.

Khalfan also accused Hizballah secretary general Hassan Nasrallah of "war crimes" on the back of his party's intervention in Syria, backing Bashar al-Assad's regime.

"As long as Nasrallah chooses to harm our Gulf states, then it should bear the resulting confrontation," Dubai's General Security chief Dhahi Khalfan Tamim said.

"Nasrallah's hatred toward Arabs will make him taste the humiliation and hatred that Arabs will inflict on him and his terrorist supporters," Tamim said.

"Nasrallah chose to import [military] training, smuggling, bombing and terrorism to our countries. He should be taught a lesson".
-Dahi Khalfan, General Security chief

He called on Arabs to start a campaign against Nasrallah by boycotting the leader and cutting all ties with Hizballah.

"Nasrallah chose to import [military] training, smuggling, bombing and terrorism to our countries. He should be taught a lesson," the official added.

Nasrallah has said on many occasions that his party is proud to be fighting alongside the Syrian regime, arguing that Hizballah's intervention is aimed at preventing the conflict from spilling into Lebanon.

But the party's opponents in Lebanon accuse the group of endangering Lebanon and its relations with the Arab world.

Agencies contributed to this report.