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Woman gets suspended jail over Instagram threat.

Summary: Defendant convicted of threatening to kill businesswoman and wreck her restaurant via live chat

Bassam Za'za', Legal and Court Correspondent

Dubai: A woman, who posted a live chat on Instagram in which she threatened to kill a businesswoman and destroy her restaurant, was handed a three-month suspended imprisonment on Wednesday.

The 45-year-old Emirati businesswoman was a member of an Instagram broadcast group of her 28-year-old countrywoman and upon logging in at 1am one day in February, she was greeted by a live chat in which she was subjected to curses and threats before other members.

In July, the Dubai Court of First Instance sentenced the 28-year-old woman in absentia to three months in jail for threatening, via Instagram, to kill the businesswoman and wreck the restaurant if she ever dared to speak to her.

The Emirati defendant surrendered herself and requested a retrial, during which she pleaded not guilty.

According to Wednesday's ruling, presiding judge Fahd Al Shamsi handed the 28-year-old a three-month suspended jail term on grounds of leniency.

However, the woman was acquitted of cursing the family members of the businesswoman.

Presiding judge Al Shamsi dismissed the businesswoman's civil lawsuit and said the defendant's phone [that was used during the Instagram broadcast] will be seized.

The businesswoman reported to the police after she watched what she deemed to be an offensive and threatening live chat.

The 28-year-old misused the social media when she threatened to kill the businesswoman via a live chat that lasted one minute and 44 seconds on Instagram.

The businesswoman testified that she accessed Instagram upon noticing that the defendant was on a live chat.

"I watched and heard her cursing members of my family ... she also said that she would kill me and destroy the restaurant if I ever spoke to her. Other members of that Instagram group viewed what she had broadcast. Thereafter, I informed the police," she testified.

The accused was quoted as telling prosecutors that she had threatened and offended the businesswoman during her live chat on Instagram.

The primary ruling remains subject for appeal within 15 days.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Dec 28, 2017
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