Dubai, Asharq Al-Awsat – For the first time in its history, the United Arab Emirates announced the conviction of an Emirati citizen on espionage charges. The UAE citizen stands accused of providing a foreign state with secret military intelligence via a foreign consulate. This comes amidst reports that the suspect’s wife is an Iranian national. The UAE citizen pleaded guilty to the charges and was sentenced to 7 years imprisonment.
A well-informed source also told Asharq Al-Awsat that this spy had previously sold other military intelligence, adding that the defendant has no known ties to any political organizations. The source said “he is independent and not affiliated to any political trend” adding “he is not a member of the list of 64 detainees.” Last year, the UAE announced the arrest of 64 Emirati citizens for crimes against the state. The source also clarified that the spy “sold secret military intelligence and all his objectives are material.”
The UAE defendant admitted to “providing information to a foreign country that can harm Emirati national security and damage the country’s relations with friendly states.”
The source revealed that the UAE’s Federal Supreme Court had sentenced the defendant to 7 years imprisonment. This sentence was issued after the UAE citizen confessed to his crimes.
As for the details of this case, the UAE security services received intelligence regarding the defendant’s contacts with an intelligence officer working at a foreign consulate under an assumed name. After obtaining a search warrant from the Public Prosecution department, Emirati security forces searched the defendant’s vehicle and recovered documents containing information about the UAE’s armed forces and their deployment.
According to unconfirmed information, the Emirati defendant had been in contact with Iranian intelligence. This was referenced in the state Emirati News Agency [WAM] report which claimed that the defendant “confessed during investigations into the charges, saying he was introduced in 2008 to two persons from the said consulate to help him resolve an issue for his Iranian wife.” The defendant also revealed that “following several meetings, they asked him for military information as he was working for the armed forces at that time, prior to his retirement.”
The WAM report went on to say that Emirati spy had admitted to providing all information asked of him, except for one occasion where he recommended another UAE national also working for the armed forces.