x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Dubai police officers cleared of inmate’s torture death

Thirteen Dubai Police officers are found not guilty of torturing and killing an inmate during an interrogation two years ago.

DUBAI // Thirteen Dubai Police officers were today cleared of torturing a prison inmate to death during an interrogation two years ago.

However, the Dubai Criminal Court found five of the thirteen officers guilty of unlawfully detaining the prisoner and two other men during a murder investigation and sentenced them each to one month in prison.

The officers - a lieutenant colonel, six lieutenants and six lower-ranking officers - were charged with torture and unlawful detention as well as abuse of power, excessive use of force during interrogation, forgery and giving a false statement.

The defendants included 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.

All of them were acquitted of all the charges except RH, BM, GS, AH and SS, who were found guilty of unlawful detention and sentenced to one month in prison.

The verdict is subject to appeal within 15 days.

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

An investigation into BK's 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. He 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.

MS, 33, 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 siad was taken to Al Rafaa police station, then moved to Naif station. While there he said officers 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. He claimed that one of the officers had said that if he died during the beating they would dump his body somewhere.

SH, a shop supervisor from Pakistan, accused several officers of tying him up, beating him and leaving him standing in a dark room.

Both men said that as they were being taken from the interrogation room they heard someone else being beaten and later saw BK's motionless body facedown on the floor of another room

The three men were arrested in connection with the kidnapping and murder of 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.

The officers denied all charges throughout the case.

wissa@thenational.ae