x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Alleged drug user tells Abu Dhabi court of set-up

An alleged drug user accuses police of setting him up because he refused to give them the names of drug dealers.

ABU DHABI // An alleged drug user yesterday accused police of setting him up because he refused to give them the names of drug dealers.

The Abu Dhabi Criminal Court of First Instance also heard that the same urine sample from AA, a Jordanian, had apparently tested both positive and negative for drugs.

He 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. Both have been in jail for about six weeks.

AA was arrested while driving his car, although it was not made clear in court where he was driving when he was arrested. Police found drugs in the car and at his house, the court heard. However, the source of this initial information was not clear.

Denying the charges, AA said the case was the result of a grudge against him by anti-drugs police. He claimed he had confessed under duress, saying anti-narcotics police had said he would be freed only if he gave them the names of drug dealers.

"There were attempts before the arrest to recruit me as [a police informant], but I refused," he told the court.

He said the police threatened his brother and mother with deportation, leading his brother to lodge a complaint. "They told me, how could my brother lodge a complaint about the Government?" AA said. "They told him they were on my side, but they wanted names of drug users."

He added that he had told the public prosecutor who interrogated him that he was beaten by police. "I asked him to refer me to a doctor to examine my body, but he told me 'you are a liar, we are familiar with people like you'," AA said. "I told him, 'why have you brought me here then?'."

Chief Justice Saeed Abdul Baseer told AA that his urine had tested positive for drugs, to which AA replied that the sample must have been falsified.

On further examination of the court records, the chief justice noted that they contained contradictory results for the same urine sample. The drug test conducted at the Police General Headquarters was positive, while the Judicial Department found the sample to be negative.

MS admitted possessing and taking drugs, and asked the court to refer him to a rehabilitation centre for treatment. However, he said AA was not his supplier.

The justices adjourned the case until Sunday, when the forensic specialists who collected the urine samples will testify.

The chief justice asked the public prosecutor present at the court to personally make sure no one could had access to the sample in the meantime.