Judicial investigation in France against the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, against the background of the Yemen war

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, accused of "complicity in acts of torture" in the context of the war on Yemen, is facing an investigation in France since the end of 2019, led by a judge in Paris.

According to several sources familiar with the file, a preliminary investigation was opened in October 2019 against him following the filing of two lawsuits, one of them by claiming the civil right, during his official visit to Paris in November 2018.

Complaints by claiming the civil right allow an investigation to be opened almost automatically and the appointment of an investigative judge to undertake the research.

The French judiciary can follow up on the most serious crimes based on the principle of "international judicial agency", while those concerned are in French territory, but the diplomatic immunity of the strong Emirati man still presents a problem, and the investigating judge should decide on it.

During his visit to France on November 21, 2018, Mohamed Bin Zayed discussed with the French President Emmanuel Macron the situation in the Middle East, especially the situation in Yemen.

The UAE has been involved in an alliance with Saudi Arabia against the Houthi rebels who have controlled the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, since 2014.

"My agents welcome the opening of an investigation and are pinning great hopes on French justice," prosecutor attorney Joseph Braham told AFP.

Priham defends six right-wingers who filed a suit by claiming the civil right of the chief investigative judge for the crimes against humanity court in Paris.

Prosecutors complained of torture committed in detention centers in Yemen controlled by Emirati armed forces.

One of the prosecutors recounted that he was imprisoned while working to release detainees who were arrested by Emirati forces. He said he was placed in "a 48-hour barrel size hole, while his hands and feet were tied with iron chains."

He added that after that, he was “naked and hung from his hands on the roof for several hours” and subjected to electric shocks and extinguishing his cigarettes in his body, according to the text of the lawsuit.

The text stated that Mohammed bin Zayed, as the supreme commander of the armed forces of the United Arab Emirates, "may have provided the means and gave orders to commit these violations."

Another case filed against the Pole of Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes was filed with the Paris Public Prosecution by three Qataris, and it revolves around "complicity in acts of torture and enforced disappearance."

They asserted that they were "arrested and tortured by members of the UAE security between February 2013 and May 2015".

However, this case was classified without follow-up, as the Public Prosecution considered that it is not within its competence to conduct investigations.


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