A Canadian-Libyan businessman goes back on trial on Monday in Abu Dhabi, in a case in which his lawyers are hoping to prove that he was tortured and his confession extracted under duress.
The trial of Salim Alaradi, a 48-year-old former Vancouver resident, had started two weeks ago but adjourned after the judge allowed the defence’s requests to cross-examine his interrogators and have him undergo a forensic medical examination to determine whether his injuries were the result of torture.
Mr. Alaradi has pleaded not guilty to three terror-related charges. He is one of 10 businessmen of Libyan ancestry living in the United Arab Emirates who were taken into custody by security officers in 2014.
Court proceedings for Mr. Alaradi will resume on the same day that a verdict is expected in the trial of two of the other 10 men, Moad Mohammad al Hashmi and Adel Rajeb Nasef.
Their lawyer has argued that the two have been wrongfully charged in a retroactive fashion.
The federal anti-terrorism law used against them was issued in 2014 but they are alleged to have committed offences between 2011 and 2013, allegedly for dealing with groups that were fighting the regime of Moammar Gadhafi and hadn’t been labelled yet as terrorist organizations.
In an interview, Mr. Alaradi’s Canadian lawyer, Paul Champ, said his client’s defence team is hoping that legal arguments made in the other trial could also be applied in their case.
Mr. Champ said the forensic medical assessment of Mr. Alaradi, which would be conducted by a court-appointed physician, has not taken place yet and will not likely be ready before court resumes.
However, the defence will have an opportunity on Monday to question the security officers who interrogated Mr. Alaradi.
Mr. Alaradi is being tried together with two other men, U.S. citizens Kamal Eldarat and his son Mohamed, who also say they were tortured into making false confessions of supporting terrorism.
Earlier this month, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention released a report documenting how the men all told similar stories of being arrested without warrants, kept in seclusion and subjected to beatings, waterboarding, electrical shocks and sleep deprivation.
“There’s no doubt that a fair examination will confirm that Mr. Alaradi has been tortured,” Mr. Champ said.
He said Mr. Alaradi had burn marks and eyesight problems that weren’t present before he was arrested.
The 10 men were taken away in August and September, 2014, days after the UAE launched air strikes against Islamist militias in western Libya.
Mr. Alaradi, who ran an appliances business in Dubai, was accused of supporting terrorism through ties with two Libyan groups that fought the Gadhafi government, the February 17 Brigade and the Libyan Dawn. He denies the charges.Report Typo/Error