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Excerpts from UAE Dailies

Khalifa issues law on extradition of convicted people

Abu Dhabi - Nov. 13: President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has issued federal law no 39 for 2006 dealing with international judicial cooperation on criminal matters.

The 80-article legislation spells out terms and cases regarding extradition of convicted persons and belongings to a third party country and procedures to be followed before the public prosecution and referral to court.

The law also covers aspects of judicial assistance, immunity of witnesses and experts before foreign judiciary and mechanisms of executing penalties.

This law, however, does not constitute any right for any country to claim proceedings in any international judicial cooperation on criminal matters.

As for extradition of persons and properties, the law provides for extraditing defendants or convicted persons to the foreign judicial authority to be interrogated, standing partial trial or serving sentences.

Article 7 of the law stipulates that extradition could only be made if the crime committed is punishable in that country by incarceration for one year or more, that the remaining sentence to be served is not less than six months and that the type of the crime committed is punishable in both countries, irrespective of the crime description by each country.

Article 9 sets out conditions under which extradition request is denied. According to the article, an accused may not be extradited if he/she is a citizen of the country or if the crime committed is of political nature. Political crimes, however, do not include terrorism, war crimes, annihilation, insulting head of state or family members, insulting the prime minister or all persons under international protection and sabotaging the country's public installations or interests.

The accused may also not be extradited if it was proved that the extradition request was made for reasons relating to one's ethnic or religious background, nationality or political views.

It is also denied if the accused was acquitted for the same crime in a previous trial or he/she had fully served the sentence, if a fair trial for the same crime was conducted by one of the country's courts, if the case was dropped because time limit had elapsed or if it is suspected that the accused will be subject to inhumane treatment.

Article 10 stipulates that if the accused is under trial in the country for another crime, the extradition shall be stayed until the trial is over. Article 12 stipulates the reviewing of extradition petitions, if all papers are in line. Article 15 stipulates that the written petition for the extradition has to include all personal details and legal case and that the extradition is done according to the person's knowledge of consequences and consent.

The law grants the attorney general the right to order detention of the accused, based on a warrant from a foreign country. The accused shall not be detained for more than 15 days.

According to the law, the convicted person may be subject to public amnesty but not special amnesty, parole or any other type of amnesty without approval from the country in which he/she was convicted.



Dubai - Nov. 13:An ambitious new Government campaign launched today aims to turn Dubai from a road accident black-spot to one of the top ten safest driving cities in the world - within five years. The “You decide” safe-driving initiative, led by HH Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum and HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, chairman of Dubai Executive Council, aims to use a hard-hitting publicity campaign - featuring road accident images and road rules, along with tough penalties for reckless driving, in a bid to improve driving standards and reduce the huge number of accidents in the emirate.

They also hope the move will catapult Dubai into the top ten cities for safe driving by 2011. The campaign calls on the public to make a choice about the future of their neighbours, families and friends and to choose safe-driving.

And the first phase - a series of adverts on billboards across the city as well as in the city’s print and broadcast media - is expected to start within the next few weeks, to run for three months. Sheikh Hamdan said: “We regard people as the foundation of our society, and protecting their safety is our top priority. 

“While it is extremely important to raise public awareness on safe driving, it is also equally vital to enforce stricter penalties on reckless drivers. The latter will have a wider impact on reducing road accidents - ensuring road safety and protecting lives.” The number of accidents on Dubai’s roads - now one every two minutes - rose by 50 per cent this year. Just three weeks ago 7DAYS reported on the tragic death of a family of four, burnt to death when a speeding four-wheel-drive rammed into their car - an all-too familiar story.

7DAYS road safety expert Bob Farrow welcomed the news on the latest campaign, but warned five years may not be a feasible time period for significant long-term change. “There are three stages to long-term improvement of the situation here in Dubai,” he said. “Good policing needs to be in place, better driving training and education. And it is education I feel is pivotal to long-term results.

But any move to increase awareness is of course to be applauded,” he added.


Driver hit the victim and dragged him for metres

Dubai - Nov. 13: Police have arrested a bus driver who deliberately ran over a man and fled.

Brigadier Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina, Director of Dubai Police's Criminal Investigation Department (CID), said police arrested the Pakistani driver after searching for him for three days. He said the driver was not on the bus owner's sponsorship.

Dubai Police's Operations Room received a report that someone had been run over in Al Aweer. When police arrived at the scene, they found a car parked on the side of the road, which had been damaged on its left side.

Police found the body of a man, lying on his back with his clothes soaked in blood about seven and a half metres from the car. He was identified as 24-year-old UAE national K.Y.


The victim's 17-year-old cousin who was in the passenger seat told police that as they were driving a bus with an Abu Dhabi number plate was behind them.

Suddenly, the bus driver drew parallel and tried to swerve into them on purpose. The victim parked his car on the side of the road and got out to ask why the bus driver was swerving into them.

The bus driver then drove into the man and dragged him seven and a half metres from the car. The driver then drove the bus over the man's body and fled the scene in the same bus.

Criminal investigation teams started searching for the driver. After investigations, police found out that the bus belonged to a public transportation company in Abu Dhabi.

Police questioned the company manager who told them that the bus was rented to a cement company. The driver's name was Mushtaq Khan Izzat Khan who is not on the sponsorship of either of the two companies.

Police also questioned the cement company located in Abu Dhabi, but they only knew the first name of the driver. Police carried out legal procedures against the two companies for violating the federal law regarding naturalisation and residency laws.

On Saturday, the teams identified the driver's location in Naif. He was arrested and on being questioned about the bus's location, he said he had hidden it in the Ajman Industrial area. Police found the bus with bloodstains on its right side.

The driver was referred to the Public Prosecution and charged with premeditated murder. Forensic tests are being carried out on the bus.

Brigadier Al Mazeina said it was difficult to trace the driver because he was not on anyone's sponsorship.

"It took us three days and we arrested more than 15 people to try to reach the actual suspect," he said.


Unskilled workers to be limited to six-year stay

Abu Dhabi - Nov. 13: A draft of the modified labour law includes an article that stipulates a maximum six-year stay for unskilled workers, according to an official.

"The six-year maximum stay for expatriates in the GCC countries was shelved at GCC level but the UAE will go ahead with it, having an article in the new Labour Law to this effect," the official told Gulf News yesterday at the sidelines of the GCC undersecretaries meeting in Abu Dhabi.

Under the rule, unskilled foreign workers and domestic help will be allowed a maximum stay of six years in the country. It will be applicable to a total of two million unskilled workers.

"The UAE received an official document from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) recognising the change of the workers' position from being immigrants to temporary contractual workers.

"This will allow the country to proceed with rules making the maximum stay of workers six years - an initial stay of three years to be renewed only once for a similar period," the official said.

The source explained that workers who complete six years in the country will have to leave but may return after two years on the same conditions.

Dr Ali Bin Abdullah Al Ka'abi, Minister of Labour, told Gulf News yesterday that a draft of the modified law had been finalised. Other amendments to the law include increasing maternity leave from 45 days to 60 days and an article authorising the Labour Minister to approve the setting up of trade unions. Also included is reducing the unpaid Haj (pilgrimage) leave from one month to three weeks and authorisation for introducing a two-day weekend for private sector workers.


Dubai to be among 'top 10 safe driving cities in five years'

Dubai - Nov. 13: An aggressive safe driving campaign "You Decide" has been launched to position Dubai among the top 10 cities in the world for safe driving within the next five years.

Following the directives of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on traffic safety, and the instructions of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, the safe driving campaign "You Decide" started yesterday which will give the power of choice to the public to develop a safe city.

"We regard people as the foundation of our society, and protecting their safety is our top priority. While it is extremely important to raise public awareness on safe driving, it is also equally vital to enforce stricter penalties on reckless drivers. The latter will have a wider impact on reducing road accidents; ensuring road safety, and protecting lives," Shaikh Hamdan said.

The campaign has long- and short-term objectives. In the short term, it aims to improve driving standards and reduce the number of accidents. In the long term, it aims to position Dubai among the top 10 cities in the world for safe driving within the next five years.

The first phase of the campaign will run for 90 days. It will provide increased awareness of road rules through print, broadcast and electronic media, and identify safe drivers.

The campaign will be customised for specific target groups such as students, families and young drivers. Public areas, including petrol stations and shopping malls will be utilised to spread the message.



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