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Judge orders retest of drug samples after discrepancies

Judges order that a urine sample taken from a defendant in a drug-abuse case be re-tested after results from previous tests appeared to be conflicting.

ABU DHABI // Judges yesterday ordered that a urine sample taken from a defendant in a drug-abuse case be re-tested after results from previous tests appeared to be conflicting.

The Abu Dhabi Criminal Court of First Instance had heard last month that the a urine sample taken from AA, a Jordanian, tested both positive and negative for drugs. Tests by Abu Dhabi Police showed the defendant's blood serum contained 44.16 nanograms per millilitre of drugs while tests of the same sample by the judicial department showed it contained 90.34 nanograms per millilitre, the court heard.

The threshhold for a positive result is 50 nanograms per millilitre.

Experts appeared before the court last week to explain the apparent difference.

The head of the judicial department's forensic laboratory said the defendant drank too much water before he was tested, and the department's forensic experts took that into account, while the police did not, he said.

The head of the police forensics laboratory denied any technical problem, , citing his laboratory's international accreditation. He asked the court for the sample to be re-tested.

AA also requested a DNA test be performed on the sample as well.

Chief Justice Saeed Abdul Baseer said the sample must be preserved until it was tested again. The justices told AA his sample would be tested by a laboratory in Dubai.

The defendant and MS, an Emirati, were charged with possessing and consuming hashish and other psychotropic substances.

The Jordanian was additionally charged with facilitating the consumption of drugs. Prosecutors said he provided MS with hashish and they smoked it together.

MS admitted possessing and taking drugs, and asked the court to refer him to a rehabilitation centre for treatment.

He also testified that AA was not his supplier.

Both men have been held in jail for about six weeks.

Police found drugs in AA's car and at his house, the court heard.

AA denied the charges, alleging the case was the result of a grudge against him by anti-drugs police, claiming he had confessed under duress. He added that police had told him he would be freed only if he gave them the names of drug dealers. The justices adjourned the case pending the results of the new tests.

 

hhassan@thenational.ae

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