Acquittal of a pilot and his assistant from the charge of death threats

Acquittal of a pilot and his assistant from the charge of death threats

Date: June 2, 2006

The Sharjah Court of First Instance recently acquitted the American individuals, Captain A.W.G. and his assistant F.L.T., from the charges of threatening to kill the secretary of H.L International, a private aviation company, and the accusation of seizing documents related to aircraft operations from the company.

The details of the case date back to March 2005 when the captain joined the company as a pilot in Sharjah, which operates in the field of cargo transportation between Bahrain and Iraq. Disputes arose between the pilot and the company’s cargo supervisor, and the company rejected all the pilot’s demands, including his request for personal insurance due to the nature of the region he served, Iraq. However, their request was denied by the company, which justified it by stating that the standard insurance coverage was sufficient in normal circumstances. In response, the pilot and his assistant refused to fly.

Since there were agreements and contracts between the company and other companies for cargo shipments, the pilot’s and his assistant’s suspension from work would result in losses that could lead to the termination of the contract. The company’s manager contacted them in attempts to persuade them to reconsider their refusal, but they insisted. He then invited them to his office on the evening of March 20 to reach an agreement.

Upon arriving at the office, the pilot and his assistant were asked by the manager’s secretary, M.F., who is of Filipino nationality, to wait. During that time, the pilot picked up a book from the table to read it. However, the secretary provoked him in an inappropriate manner and requested that he put the book down, engaging in disrespectful behavior. This prompted the pilot and his assistant to leave the office without meeting the manager. To their surprise, the next day they discovered that the secretary had filed a police report accusing them of threatening to kill her and attempting to access confidential documents of the company.

When questioned about the nature of these documents, she stated that they related to the operation of aircraft. The prosecution dismissed the second charge against the pilot and his assistant and directed the first charge against the pilot. He was subsequently detained at the police station for 23 days until the court released him without bail after discovering that the report submitted by the secretary was orchestrated by the company’s management as an attempt to pressure him to withdraw the report in exchange for continuing his employment with the company.

Attempts were made to contact the assistant’s wife in an effort to reconcile and convince them to withdraw the complaint, but the pilot and his assistant refused. They insisted on continuing with the court proceedings. Furthermore, the pilot and his assistant filed a civil lawsuit seeking compensation for the damages they suffered as a result of their unjustified detention for more than 23 days at the police station and the non-payment of their dues. They requested interim compensation of AED 10,000, and their defense, led by Nasser Hashem Al Kamali Advocacy, proceeded with all the necessary procedures to claim compensation, which they estimated at five million dollars.

The defense attorney, Nasser Hashem Al Kamali, submitted a defense memorandum on the charge of threats, stating that the plaintiff did not provide a single witness to support this claim. He argued that she filed the report at the instigation of her manager due to the ongoing dispute between them, which confirms the malicious intent behind the complaint and accusation. Additionally, a Moroccan officer, M.B., who works in operations at the airline, testified that she did not witness the pilot seizing any documents nor heard him threatening the plaintiff. Al Kamali questioned how the pilot would attempt to seize documents related to aircraft operations when he is known for his competence, and he emphasized that the root of the problem lies in his refusal to travel to Iraq due to the current situation there, which exposes him to many risks.

Scroll to Top