A top Emirati court on Wednesday jailed for three years a Pakistani driver for spying for a foreign country, the official WAM news agency said.
The Federal Supreme Court ruled that the Pakistani, who worked as a “driver at a sensitive government department,” had been recruited by an intelligence officer at a foreign embassy in the United Arab Emirates. The man had supplied photographs of meetings in the Gulf country between UAE officials and foreign delegates, WAM reported.
The Pakistani confessed to having received UAE Dhs30,000 (more than $8,000) from the officer whom he met several times at the embassy headquarters and at the Iranian hospital in Dubai.
WAM did not specify the country for which the defendant was convicted of spying.
The Abu Dhabi court acquitted a suspect, an Iranian, on trial for the same offence for lack of evidence. Earlier, an Emirati national, who was married to an Iranian woman, was sentenced in January to seven years in jail for spying.
Iran and the UAE are in dispute over ownership of the islands of Abu Musa, Greater Tunb and Lesser Tunb, which lie in the strategic Strait of Hormuz at the entrance to the oil-rich Gulf. Iran took control of the islands in 1971 when Britain withdrew from the Gulf, in an annexation still contested by the UAE.
The UAE is a staunch ally of the United States, Iran’s arch rival and leader of international efforts to curb Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 12th, 2013.