x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Court throws out drug convictions

Court jailed Briton, Pakistani and Emirati in 2005 after authorities in Holland and Belgium foiled an attempt to smuggle 2,500 kilograms of cannabis into The Netherlands.

ABU DHABI // Three men convicted of being part of an international drug smuggling ring have been cleared by the federal appeals court.

The three were accused of being linked with a gang of 17 who tried to smuggle 2,500 kilograms of hashish into Holland from Pakistan in 2005.

The British, Emirati and Pakistani defendants, who live in the UAE, were accused of being involved in the smuggling operation.Their case was thrown out yesterday by the appeals court after vital evidence documents from Holland were not supplied by the prosecution. A police report from Belgium had not been translated into Arabic.

The case folder lacked a copy of the investigations report carried out by the Dutch public prosecution that describes the nature of the substance found.

Moreover, a letter written by Holland's public prosecutor, which was included in the file, did not state if the substance was hashish.

As a result, the appeals court ruled it was unable to prove that the substance seized was drugs and all three were acquitted.

The Briton originally had been sentenced to 35 years in prison followed by deportation, the Pakistani to a life sentence followed by deportation and the Emirati to 10 years.

hdajani@thenational.ae