x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

British prisoners turn down move from police cells

The remaining British detainees at Bur Dubai Police Station confirmed they did not wish to be moved following the death of Lee Bradley Brown in custody.

DUBAI // Four British prisoners say they do not wish to be moved from the police station where a tourist died last week.

Officials at the British Embassy in Dubai have now withdrawn a request for the four to be transferred for their wellbeing and safety from cells in the Bur Dubai station, an embassy spokesman said yesterday.

The request followed the death in police custody on April 12 of Lee Bradley Brown, a 39-year-old British visitor. Mr Brown had been arrested at the Burj Al Arab on April 6 accused of assaulting a member of the hotel's staff by pulling her hair and trying to throw her from a sixth-floor balcony overlooking the lobby.

He was held at Bur Dubai on charges of assault leading to incapacitation, issuing verbal threats and swearing, and was denied bail because of the severity of the charges.

The British Embassy spokesman said they had asked that Dubai Police conduct a thorough investigation into the incident.

A second postmortem examination will be performed on Mr Brown's body, the Dubai Police Chief, Lt Gen Dahi Khalfan Tamim, said yesterday.

The results of the first postmortem found that Mr Brown died after choking on his own vomit, and hashish was found in his blood.

Gen Tamim said the second postmortem was not being carried out because there were doubts about the results of the first one. "It is being carried out only as a confirmation," he said.

The second examination will be conducted by two forensic doctors from Dubai Police.

Gen Tamim said the investigation into Mr Brown's death and a decision on when to release his body were the responsibility of the public prosecution and not the police.

"The only person who can really give all the details of this case is the Attorney General," he said. "If doubts are raised about the Dubai Police, how can we investigate ourselves?"

The police chief said he understood the right of any family to ask questions and complain if their relative died in custody.

"We can't not show sympathy for the family in the death of their son. But what is important is what really happened," he said.

Gen Tamim dismissed allegations in British media that Mr Brown had been beaten by police. "Mr Brown created chaos once he reached the police station and also at the public prosecution. We only took measures to control him.

"We are not people who try to hide facts. If a death is shown to have been caused by somebody from Dubai Police or somebody from Dubai Police had anything to do with any element of his death, that officer will be referred to the public prosecution to be held accountable for his actions."

Gen Tamim said the relationship between Dubai Police and the British Embassy was based on co-operation and transparency. "An official from the police station contacted the British Embassy 10 minutes after Mr Brown arrived at the police station and informed them of his arrest. This is a clear indication of the remarkable relationship between us."

Gen Tamim said: "I want the British, both inside and outside this country, to understand that the Dubai Police follow a fair policy."

wissa@thenational.ae