x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Drug term reduced from life to three years

A boy caught dealing drugs will have his sentence reduced 'out of mercy'.

ABU DHABI // A young man sentenced to life in prison for drug dealing has had his sentence reduced to three years.

F, a Jordanian, tried to sell Dh1,000 worth of hashish to an undercover officer. F, who was 17 when arrested, confessed to the charges.

But the Criminal Court of First Instance decided to try him as an adult under Sharia law and sentenced him to life in prison.

Public Prosecution took the rare step of appealing against the verdict and asking for a lighter sentence, saying drug crimes do not fall under Sharia oversight, unlike adultery, murder or crimes related to alcohol, and the boy should be sentenced as a juvenile.

Juveniles serve time in correction centres, not prisons.

Two other defendants who were convicted of using hashish were sentenced to time in a correction centre, followed by deportation.

A legal source explained the court tried F as an adult because drugs have the same effects as alcohol. The Court of Appeals continued to view F as an adult but reduced the sentence out of mercy, he said.