x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Court agrees to hear appeal of Filipino in drug case

A Filipino imprisoned last month for possessing banned narcotics, which he claimed were grape seeds, is to appear before the Court of Appeals this Sunday.

DUBAI // A Filipino who was imprisoned last month on charges of possessing banned narcotics - which he claimed were grape seeds - is scheduled to appear before the Court of Appeals on June 14. GFR, 34, was sentenced by the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance to 10 years on May 14. He was also ordered to pay a Dh50,000 (US$14,000) fine. He will be deported after serving his sentence.

An appeal was registered on May 18, in which GFR insisted, as he had throughout the investigation, that what police said were marijuana seeds were actually grape seeds. The Philippine consulate in Dubai is closely monitoring the case and has contacted a top official from the Dubai Public Prosecution about the case, according to a consular officer. "We sent a letter to the Dubai Public Prosecution ... requesting for a reduced sentence and deportation," said Ahmed Bajunaid, the head of the assistance to nationals section at the consulate.

GFR's wife, who is working in Dubai, declined to comment. rruiz@thenational.ae