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'Cannabis smoking' student is freed

Invalid arrest warrant allows student to walk free from court.

DUBAI // A student who was arrested and charged with consuming hashish in September was freed yesterday after the court found prosecutors did not issue his arrest warrant until days after apprehending him.

The Indian student DS, 26, was arrested on September 15 after police were tipped off about a man who was smoking hashish and another one carrying it, Criminal Court of First Instance records said.

When police arrived, DS was present at the house and was arrested with a second suspect. Both men were taken to Al Qusais police station and were accused of taking drugs. Both men were tested and the results processed by the police laboratory, prosecutors said.

Forensic reports found traces of hashish's active ingredient in DS's urine sample; the other man's results were negative.

DS was referred to prosecution, which investigated and charged him with the consumption of hashish.

A few days later, prosecutors issued an arrest warrant against him and he appeared before the court on October 31, 2010. He denied the charges.

Defence lawyer Haroun Tahlak argued before the court on December 29 that his client was arrested without a valid warrant, and that according to articles No 45 and No 51 of the Criminal Proceedings Law, arresting people or searching them is only valid after a warrant is issued by prosecutors or the court.

salamir@thenational.ae

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