x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Abu Dhabi party host arrested for drug abuse after death of his guest

Police summoned the host for questioning over the death of his friend, but he was arrested for drug use instead.

ABU DHABI // A man summoned by police to provide information about a friend who died was arrested for drug use, the Appeals Court heard on Tuesday.

A K, from Palestine, was arrested 23 days after hosting a housewarming party at his new flat on Al Reem Island.

Police called his family home to ask him to visit a station to answer questions about one of the guests who had died after the party. The cause of death was not mentioned in court.

But they arrested A K for consuming illegal dugs and he was jailed for four years by the Criminal Court.

His defence lawyer, Fayza Moussa, argued that the arrest had been invalid.

Police “took his urine and blood sample without any prior investigations or proof that he was consuming drugs”, she said.

“They said in their investigations that he lived in Al Reem, they did not even know that after the party he went back to stay in his family’s home in Hamdan Street.”

She said the only reason police arrested her client was because they had also arrested another guest at his party, S R, an Emirati, who was found to have consumed drugs.

“They asked S R for the names of the people who attended the party and he gave them my client’s name and number,” Ms Moussa said.

She argued that police had used underhand methods to apprehend A K and they should have arrested him only if they had caught him red-handed using drugs.

Also at the hearing, the lawyer for S R asked for her client to be released from jail to a rehabilitation clinic.

“We already requested this in the Criminal Court but they ignored it,” she said, adding that S R was young, had a clean record and worked for a government organisation, so it would ruin his future not to offer him rehab.

A K’s lawyer said if her client was not acquitted he should be referred to rehab at his parents’ expense.

A verdict will be announced on February 18.