Expatriate faces jail for lewd car sticker
By Bassam Za'za', Staff Reporter
Published in Gulf News Online: October 28, 2007, 23:02
Dubai: Motorists who paste a 'kiss my ...' sticker on their car windshield might be jailed and deported if they are taken to court.
This is the current status of a 30-year-old Filipino computer programmer who is waiting for Dubai Court of Appeal to decide his fate.
The Public Prosecution charged the Filipino, J.J., with breaching public decency when he posted a 'kiss my ...' sticker on his vehicle windshield.
He was also charged with possessing and promoting material in public that describes lewd acts. The Appeals Court is expected to pass a ruling soon.
His lawyer Dr Riyadh Al Kabban of Al Kabban Advocates and Legal Consultants, recently convinced the Court of Cassation that his client "posted the sticker as a joke, not knowing that what it means is perceived as a breach of public decency in the UAE".
The Court of Appeal earlier sentenced the suspect to one month in jail followed by deportation after the Court of First Instance acquitted him of the first charge and fined him Dh2,000 for the second.
The suspect hired Dr Al Kabban who told the Cassation Court: "The Appeals Court considered that '...' meant 'posterior' and tried our client as if he committed a lewd act in public without supplying any translation. Meanwhile, the word ... has different meanings, according to English dictionaries, such as donkey, dumb, stubborn or to ridicule someone.
"Al Mawrid English-Arabic Dictionary lists the same definitions. The Appeals Court also failed to ask the suspect whether he understood the sticker's meaning."
Records said an Arab witness, S.S., saw the sticker on the suspect's windshield in a gas station.
The defendant refused to remove the sticker. S.S. reported the incident to the police who referred J.J. to court.
The Cassation Court overturned the lower court's verdict and ordered the Appeals Court to hold a fresh trial with a new panel of judges. A verdict will be issued soon.
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