x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Conflicting testimony offered in drug case

Man dissuaded from implicating Yemeni in drug dealing after judge expresses shock.

ABU DHABI // A man insisted in court this morning on accusing a co-defendant of supplying drugs, then recanted as the judge expressed shock.

The Egyptian man, HH, is accused of consuming hashish along with MK, a Yememi. FM, also Yemeni, was charged with giving them the drugs as well as taking them himself.

MK and FM denied the charges, while HH confessed to taking the drug but insisted it was provided to him by FM.

"Did FM provide you with hashish?" Chief Justice Sayed Abdul Baseer, head of the Criminal Court of First Instance, asked HH.

When HH responded "yes", the judge asked him again and said: "Fear Allah: when you say this man gave you the hashish, you are sending him to his doom."

The sentences for drug dealing are harsher than those for consumption.

When HH continued to insist that FM supplied the drugs, the judge said “Yekhrebeetak!” an expression showing his shock that HH would condemn the other man to a potential death sentence.

At that point, HH changed his mind and said he acquired the drug by himself from an unknown Pakistani man.

The lawyer representing MK and FM argued that police investigations were based on the testimony of HH, which is not credible enough.

The verdict will be announced on Tuesday.