x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Dubai officers deny torture, murder of inmate

Two former prisoners say thirteen members of the police force beat them and killed another man during an investigation.

DUBAI // Thirteen Dubai police officers this morning denied killing an inmate while torturing him and two others during an investigation last year.

The officers before the Criminal Court of First Instance – a lieutenant colonel, six lieutenants and six lower-ranking officers – also denied the charges during prosecution investigations.

The surviving inmates, MS and SH, told prosecutors that they heard the beating and saw the body of BK, a Pakistani man who was being questioned with them in a kidnapping and murder case in June. They say members of the Dubai Police Criminal Investigation Department tortured the three of them in the Naif police station.

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Prosecutors say 13 policemen beat murder suspect to death
Dubai police tortured man to death, former inmate says

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When BK's body was taken to the police morgue, the doctor there saw massive bruising and suspected the man had been abused. He notified prosecutors about performing an autopsy, and his findings led them to open an investigation, records show.

The allegations against the officers include torture and unlawful detention of BK, MS and SH, as well as abuse of power, excessive use of force during interrogation, forgery and giving a false statement.

The defendants include nine Emiratis, AR, 35; MA, 30; RH, 24; AS, 26; GS, 30; BM, 25; JE, 32; RS, 24; and AH, 44. Two of the officers, KM, 31, and SA, 56, are Pakistani, while KH and SS, both 33, are Omani.

MS, 33, a Pakistani cashier, told prosecutors he and BK were arrested on May 27 of last year. SH, 38, was arrested on May 28.

MS said all three of the men were severely beaten at various times in late May and early June.

MS said he was arrested in Al Satwa, then placed in a CID car, where he was slapped and punched in the face, abdomen and thighs. He was taken to Al Rafaa police station, then moved to Naif station.

Prosecutors said officers there hit him in the groin with a metal bar and a wooden stick, then stripped him naked and sprayed his body with WD40, an anti-rust agent.

"One of them was shouting, 'If he doesn't respect the law, we beat him, and if he dies, we dump his body somewhere'," MS told prosecutors.

SH, a shop supervisor from Pakistan, said his hands were tied behind his back before he was beaten and left standing in a dark room. He said the abuse came at the hands of several officers.

"Some of them insulted me with inappropriate words in both Arabic and Urdu," he told prosecutors.

He said the officers banged his head against a wall as they continued beating and kicking him. Then they took him to Ajman, where the man suspected of being kidnapped lived, prosecutors said.

MS and SH both said that as they were being moved from an interrogation room, they heard someone else being beaten. They then saw BK laying motionless on the floor of another room, face-down and wearing traditional Pakistani clothing.

"I saw him for nearly 10 seconds," MS testified.

AE, a forensics expert who examined BK's body, said he had suffered bruises all over his body, and that the cause of death was bleeding in the brain.

A senior prosecution official told The National, "When I saw the deceased's dead body, there wasn't an inch of it that didn't have a bruise."

AE said the bruises were probably caused by sticks or bars, but some had been caused by bare hands. He said the beating of MS caused his kidneys to fail.

The case in which the inmates were arrested involved the kidnapping and murder of a Pakistani man working in the lorry rental business. Police say he disappeared in May in Dubai after a meeting about buying new lorries.

His body was found buried in Sharjah two weeks later. Prosecution records showed no indication that anyone had been charged in his death.

The defendants will appear before court again on June 26.

salamir@thenational.ae