x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Drugs in musician's suitcase 'by mistake'

A musician in the band of the Egyptian singer Saad Al Sughayar tells court that the drugs found in his suitcase were there 'by mistake'.

ABU DHABI // Hashish and tramadol pills found in the suitcase of a musician playing in the band of the Egyptian singer and presidential hopeful Saad Al Sughayar were there "by mistake", a court heard today.

YM told the Criminal Court he arrived in the UAE from his native Egypt to play in the band for one day, but denied intentionally bringing the drugs with him. The date of the musician's arrest was not mentioned in court.

"I don't know how they ended up in my bag, the customs officer surprised me with them," he said, adding that he shares the tuxedo in which the drugs were found with his brother, who is a similar size.

However, the musician admitted using drugs in his home country. "You know how it is," he told Chief Justice Sayed Abdul Baseer, the head of the court.

"No. How would I know how it is?", replied the chief justice, "you are a big sinner".

The musician said he had a medical prescription for the Tramadol that he had been issued in Egypt but he did not know where it was.

"Someone was supposed to attend today and bring it, but I don't know what happened to it," he said, telling the judge: "If you can give me two days I'll bring it."

The musician said that he previously signed a confession only because the police told him that he would be immediately returned to Egypt if he did so.

The judge said he would announce a verdict on Tuesday. When the musician asked if he could be bailed out in the meantime, the judge replied: "You'll get bail in heaven."

hdajani@thenational.ae