x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Dead inmate 'tortured before arrest, not after'

The lawyer for 13 police officers accused of beating an inmate to death says bruising on the dead man's body was caused by a fight he had with a man he was trying to kidnap.

DUBAI // The lawyer for 13 police officers accused of torturing a prisoner to death said today that bruises on the victim's body were sustained before his arrest.

The inmate, B?K, a Pakistani, was taken to Naif Police station on suspicion of kidnapping and murdering a man in Ajman in May 2010.

Eisa bin Hayder, the defence lawyer for the 13 officers, told Dubai Criminal Court that his bruises were obtained while he carried out his alleged crimes.

"It resulted from the fight in which the deceased engaged with the man he was trying to kidnap in Ajman," said Mr bin Hayder, who said the kidnap victim was powerfully built.

The 13 officers – a lieutenant colonel, six lieutenants and six lower-ranking officers – have denied torturing the inmate and two other prisoners, M?S and S?H, who are still alive.

The other two inmates told prosecutors they heard the officers beating their fellow prisoner.

They said members of the Dubai CID tortured all three of them. M?S claimed he was hit in the groin with a metal bar and a wooden stick before being stripped naked and sprayed with WD40. Mr bin Hayder told the court that WD40 did not burn the skin and that cans of the product do not carry a warning stating this is a risk.

The doctor at the police morgue found "massive bruising" on the inmate's body that made him suspect he had been abused before his death. He notified prosecutors and performed an autopsy, the findings of which led to an investigation of the officers' conduct.

A?E, the forensics expert who examined the body, said bleeding in the brain caused his death.

The defendants include nine Emiratis: A?R, 35; M?A, 30; RH, 24; AS, 26; G?S, 30; B?M, 25; J?E, 32; R?S, 24; and A?H, 44. Two of the officers, K?M, 31, and S?A, 56, are Pakistani, while K?H and S?S, both 33, are both from Oman.

The three inmates were arrested over the kidnapping and murder of a Pakistani man working in the lorry rental business. Police said he disappeared after a meeting about buying new vehicles.

His body was found buried in Sharjah two weeks later.

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

The court is scheduled to issue a verdict on the officers on June 12.

salamir@thenational.ae