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04 December 2023

Woman 'belt bomber' gets 7 years in prison

By Eman Al Baik

The Dubai Court of First Instance sentenced an Uzbek woman to seven years in prison followed by deportation after finding her guilty of threatening to explode a belt bomb in the premises of Dubai Prosecution last September to force an Emirati man to take a paternity test of her son.

Her accomplice Emirati Captain MY, 28, was sentenced to two years in jail for aiding and abetting the woman by making the belt, and suggesting that she go to the building to demand that JS take the paternity test.

ZA, 33, screamed and shouted after hearing the court’s verdict, saying that God is her guardian and no one else. Her reaction prompted the security officers to empty the court room until she calmed down.

ZA was prosecuted for threatening to explode a ‘bomb belt’ that she was wearing when she entered the Dubai Prosecution’s premises accompanied by her son at around 11.30am on September 1 to force an Emirati man to take a paternity test.

At the reception, she clapped her hands to draw attention and started shouting and screaming, demanding a paternity test. She then opened her ‘abaya’ and, pointing at the belt she was wearing, threatened to bomb the building if her demand was not met.

Police officers were rushed to the scene and the building evacuated. They also negotiated with the woman until she surrendered at about 1am the next day.

Colonel Mohammed Ahmad testified that when he arrived at the scene the woman demanded to see the UAE’s top leaders, the Uzbek consul, lawyer Muna Al Khaja  and Huda, a Dubai CID employee.

The accused also threatened her negotiators. She then threatened to bomb herself, her son and the police officer. “The bombing will not be limited to the premises. A car will explode at the same time with the help of another person,” she claimed.

During negotiations, she was calling a person and talking to him about the development of the negotiations. “Her belt looked very much real with its wire hooked to a detonator. This had happened for the first time in the UAE and it is so serious. Others may try to do what she did,” testified Col. Mohammed.

Criminal Evidences reported that the belt was fake as it did not contain explosives or a circuit. However, it looked like a real one with wires and detonator. It also reported ZA’s finger prints on the wires and scotch tape together with other unidentified prints.

Dubai Prosecution submitted to the Court testimonies of eyewitnesses including some of the department’s employee and visitors who lived moments of terror because of the woman’s threats and acts.

In a previous hearing, her lawyer Muna Al Khaja told the Court that ZA is married to the Emirati man. He calls her in prison every day and during these calls he admitted being married to her and that the boy is his son. He also sends her money as an allowance.

MY, the woman’s partner, denied the charged and sought bail which the Court refused.

Judicial record and threat history

The woman had sued JS, who she claimed to be the father of her son, before Ajman Court. 49-year-old JS, a corporal in the UAE Armed Forces, testified that he had met ZA in 2003.

“After ten days of our relationship, she started claiming to be pregnant. She lodged a case with Ajman Court which acquitted me while she was sentenced to one month jail for adultery. Three years later, she filed a case against me in Sharjah Court which turned down her case. She relentlessly pursued me and  every time I was acquitted. She then started causing family problems for me.

“On August 20 last, she sent me threatening text messages and sent me a picture of an explosive belt with a voice message saying that I will see the bombing. I did not take her threats seriously until I was shocked to hear about the bombing threat in Dubai Prosecution’s premises,” testified JS.

The woman had asked JS to admit his paternity of her son besides getting a UAE passport to her son, offering her a villa and Dh3 million.

“I did not accept these demands because I was not sure that the boy is my son and I asked her to resort to the law and that I will comply with what the law says,” testified JS.

JS submitted to the Court the 2007 verdict of the Sharjah Sharia Court which, going by Islamic jurisprudence, turned down the case as the child was the result of an adulterous relationship with JS which she admitted to and was outside marriage.

JS also submitted to the Court the verdict of Ajman Court of 2003 which sentenced her a suspended month in jail for committing adultery with him.