A mosque in Abu Dhabi
Judge in Abu Dhabi overturns prison sentence
A British landscape architect who asked colleagues in a meeting “When will we finish the damn mosques?” has had his prison sentence overturned.
John Hall, who works for the parks and recreation section of Abu Dhabi Municipality, was appealing against a one month sentence imposed by the Court of Misdemeanours.
According to the National, an English-language newspaper based in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Hall lost his temper in a meeting because work on a project to create gardens around a mosque in the Gulf emirate was falling behind.
Hall, who previously worked on the Millennium Dome, was reported to police by colleagues offended by his outburst.
He told the judge he had not meant to offend the mosque or Islam and that he had made the comment out of frustration at the scheme’s slow progress. The judge asked him: “So your keenness on completion drove you to curse?”
His lawyer successfully persuaded the judge that the word “damn” could mean “strong criticism in an unofficial way” and Hall was fined £840 instead.
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