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June 09, 2009

A Belt is not a Dangerous Object?

Demonstrating that lawmakers in Georgia are not the only ones confused, an American citizen just lost his court battle in Switzerland against a member of the ruling family of the United Arab Emirates. Why? Because a belt is apparently not a "dangerous object."

Al Nahyan, brother of the UAE ruler, was convicted in July of hitting Silvano Orsi, 40, of Rochester, New York, with a belt after the American declined a bottle of champagne the sheik offered him in a luxury Geneva hotel bar in 2003. Al Nahyan was fined 10,000 Swiss francs ($9,820).

But in March a Geneva appeals court quashed the conviction of inflicting bodily harm with a dangerous object on the grounds that the belt wasn't dangerous.

Al Nahyan whipped Orsi across the face with the belt. But! Not a a dangerous weapon, says the court. To add insult to insult, the court ordered Orsi (the American) to pay court costs. The court also held that Orsi did not have standing (drink!) to challenge the sheik's acquittal.

I think the lesson here is that when a rich momma's boy sheik who is clearly compensating for something (and violating his own purported religious precepts) offers you champagne, you say "yes."


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 02:10 PM

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