x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Egyptians jailed for four years in drugs case

Six Egyptians are sentenced to four-year prison terms for using and selling hashish.

ABU DHABI // Six Egyptians were sentenced to four-year prison terms yesterday for taking and selling hashish. Police arrested seven Egyptian men during operations in Abu Dhabi in late July, and the Public Prosecution charged them all with possession, consumption and trafficking of the drug. At a hearing before the Criminal Court of First Instance last week, a defence lawyer complained to Judge Syed Abdul Baseer that his clients had not actaully been tested for drug use.

"Since the beginning of their arrest, they have been asking to be tested," said Ali Albadi, who represented four of the men. One of the accused, WI, asserted during last week's hearing that he had not even met any of the other defendants before his arrest. "I am 23 years old, and I have never even smoked one cigarette. I have never touched drugs," he told the court. Judge Baseer acquiesced and ordered that the seven men be tested for drug use. Six tested were positive. WI was acquitted of the charges.

The six who were convicted have 30 days to appeal. If their convictions stand, they will be deported after serving their sentences. myoussef@thenational.ae