A British surgeon who was charged with showing his middle finger to a motorist on a UAE road has been cleared. The judge ruled there was a lack of evidence in the controversial case.
Joseph Nunoo-Mensah, a consultant colorectal surgeon, was charged with public indecency after an off-duty Emirati immigration officer complained he had made the rude gesture as he drove on the Jebel Ali to Al Hebab Road in April.
Nunoo-Mensah, who was holidaying in the UAE with his wife, Alison Walker, and their three children, has always denied the charge. He claimed he had simply raised his hands in confusion at the officer who was flashing his lights at him.
Walker shrieked with joy as 7DAYS broke the news to her that her husband had been acquitted in his absence at Dubai Court of Misdemeanours yesterday.
“I’m absolutely thrilled at the verdict. It restores our faith in the justice system of the UAE. It’s such an honest verdict,” she said.
CASE SHOWS FAIR LEGAL SYSTEM SAYS LAWYERWalker added the family had been anxious about the trial, and were worried how it would end as the doctor could have been jailed if found guilty.
“It was a fear of the unknown. The system is so different from the UK, but ultimately the result was the same,” she said.
Nunoo-Mensah was charged following the incident on April 26. He returned to the UK in May after a guarantor handed over their passport.
But he failed to return for court hearings and at the most recent, last week, presented a letter to the judge through his lawyer.
In it he said: “I don’t believe it is in my best interest to return. This is not a decision I have made lightly. I have sustained financial losses, tarnished reputation, unfair detainment in Dubai and as matters stand, probably unlikely to obtain a fair hearing.”
Walker admitted the family’s fears of an unfair trial had proved unfounded. She told her husband of his acquittal while he was performing surgery yesterday.
“He was so surprised, shocked and very happy,” she said.
An Emirati lawyer told 7DAYS the case proves Dubai has a fair justice system. He said: “It doesn’t matter what your nationality or religion, we are all equal in front of the judges in Dubai Courts.”