American businessmen acquitted of supporting militants in United Arab Emirates

 American-businessmen-acquitted-of-supporting-militants-in-United-Arab-Emirates.  WASHINGTON, Two American businessmen imprisoned in the United Arab Emirates were acquitted of charges they had supported militants in Libya, but were not released from prison after the verdict.

While Kamal Elderat and his sone, Mohamed, were acquited of charges of working with terrorist groups in Libya, they were taken back to prison after the verdict, rather than being released as a judge recommended. Photo by niroworld/Shutterstock

Kamal Elderat and his son, Mohamed Elderat, were acquitted of charges were involved with civil war in Libya, escaping up to 15 years in prison in the UAE, The Washington Post reported.

Although charges they’d provided financial and material support to terrorist groups had been dropped last year, the two still stood trial that they’d assisted groups in the country. Despite their acquittal, the Elderats were taken back to prison after the verdict was read.

“After the verdict, my dad and bother were taken back to prison,” Amal Eldarat, Mohamed’s sister, said in a conference call, according to CNN. “We are disappointed that state security did not go with the judge’s decision to let them go back to their homes.”

The Elderats were held for 21 months by the government in the UAE, with their family saying they were beaten, waterboarded and subjected to electrical shock leading to their confession for various crimes.

Although the UAE is among the United States’ allies in the coalition fighting the Islamic State, the nation restricted the Elderat’s access to lawyers and American officials as diplomats raised issues with the treatment of the father and son, who have lived in the Middle East for more than two decades.

By Stephen Feller