x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Court upholds acquittal of 13 Dubai policemen accused of prisoner's torture death

The Dubai Cassation Court, the emirate's highest court, also overturns a verdict finding five of the policemen guilty of unlawful detention, putting an end to the case which has gone on since the man's death in 2010.

DUBAI // Thirteen policemen cleared of torturing a prisoner to death had their acquittal upheld by the Cassation Court today.

The court also overturned a verdict finding five of the policemen guilty of unlawful detention.

The ruling, by the emirate's highest court, puts an end to the case which has gone on since the man's death in 2010.

The officers were accused of torturing three men - BK, MS and SH - while investigating a kidnap and murder that took place in May 2010. The alleged torture was said to have lead to the death of BK, a Pakistani.

An investigation into his death was launched after a forensic examination found he had suffered bruises all over his body before dying from bleeding in the brain.

The expert who examined the body said most of the bruises were probably caused by him being beaten with sticks or bars, while others were made by bare hands. The expert also concluded that a beating sustained by one of the other suspects - the Pakistani cashier MS - had caused his kidney to fail.

The two surviving prisoners accused members of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of torturing all three of them in Naif police station.

They claimed they had been hit in the groin with a metal bar, stripped naked and sprayed with the anti-rust agent WD40.

The three men were arrested on suspicion of kidnapping and murdering a Pakistani man working in the lorry rental business who disappeared in May after a business meeting. His body was found buried in Sharjah two weeks later.

Prosecution records showed no indication that anyone had been charged in his death.

A civil lawsuit lodged by one of the injured detainees, was dismissed by the Criminal Court which ordered him to pay Dh500 in court and lawyers' fees.

The Criminal Court cleared the policemen, a lieutenant colonel, six lieutenants and six officers, of torture, but found five of them guilty of unlawfully detaining the three men and sentenced them each to one month in prison.

The Appeals Court upheld this verdict. The Cassation Court upheld the acquittal of the 13 on charges of torture, but also cleared the five of unlawful imprisonment.