Lawyers of 94 Emiratis charged  with threatening national security and forming a clandestine organisation aimed at overthrowing the government met the presiding judge yesterday to ask for their release on bail.
However, the judge, Chief Justice Falah Al Hajiri of the State Security Court, has yet to set a date for the start of the public hearing.
Up to 50 petitions were submitted to the Federal Supreme Court on behalf of the defendants  to get them released on bail which the judge has promised to look into, a lead lawyer of the defendants told Gulf News.The defendants, some of them in police custody since July, were not in court yesterday. Court officials say a date was yet to be set for a public hearing.
They will make their appearance in “a new spacious, more security conscious courtroom with six-foot high glass panels separating the defendants from the bench and attendees of the hearing and equipped with microphones to help them speak to the bench,” one source told Gulf News.
A number of family members of the defendants attended the court and also submitted petitions to the judge on behalf of their relatives.
The defendants, who include some 70 men and more than a dozen women, will stand trial on charges of violating Article 180 and 182 of the UAE Penal Code , which bans the formation of any organisation aimed at overthrowing, seizing or opposing the basic principles of the country and incriminates using mosques for political causes. If convicted, they will face up to 10 years in jail.
The women involved in the case, who will go on trial, are bailed out. They had been summoned for interrogation and were released, a statement by the General Attorney said last month. A number of the 94 suspects are still at large.
The defendants reportedly belonged to the Al Islah, a movement linked to the Muslim Brotherhood , that operated across the UAE and had influence in ministries of Education, Higher Education and Justice in the 1980s.
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