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Canadian man seeks reduced sentence in drug case

A Canadian in prison on drug charges pleads with the appeals court for a lighter sentence based on his lack of knowledge of local laws.

ABU DHABI // A Canadian in prison on drug charges pleaded with the appeals court yesterday for a lighter sentence based on his lack of knowledge of the UAE's laws. The 26-year-old, identified as CR, was brought to court on June 9, accused of using hashish with two Sudanese men and one Emirati. He and the three others pleaded guilty to the charges in the Criminal Court of First Instance.

They were all sentenced to four years in prison, then deportation, except for the Emirati, who cannot be deported. They all appealed their sentences. CR told the Criminal Appeal Court: "I wasn't aware of the law and the severity of my crime. In the country where I come from, it is not a federal crime." The 26-year-old man came to the UAE a year and a half ago to try to develop a career as a rapper, although he had been working in information technology. He lived in Abu Dhabi with his father.

"I am asking for leniency and to be deported back to my country as quickly as possible," CR said. No verdict was released by the court's closing time. myoussef@thenational.ae

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