x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Four on trial for drugs after raid on hotel party

The four defendants were allegedly found with marijuana after police raided a room at the Fairmont Hotel in Dubai.

DUBAI // Questions were raised in court yesterday about the arrest procedures of Dubai police after three Kuwaitis and a Jordanian were arrested at the Fairmont hotel in Dubai for allegedly consuming drugs and alcohol. Defence lawyers told the court they believed that the police investigations were incomplete and did not follow legal procedures, without elaborating. The advocate Ali al Shamsi said tests done on the defendants did not prove they consumed any drugs while in the country.

The defendants face prison terms of up to four years if found guilty of the drugs charges against them. The Dubai Police anti-narcotics division raided a hotel room at the Fairmont on November 14 last year after receiving a tip that two men staying there possessed marijuana. The Kuwaiti defendants, the visitor A Y, 39, the manager B M, 33, the visitor M M, 37, and the Jordanian manager H N, 27, were present at a party held in their hotel room. They were arrested after a raid by the anti-narcotics department.

The men were found with five unsmoked marijuana-laced cigarettes and the ends of eight extinguished marijuana-laced cigarettes. Court records shows A Y, M M and H N were also found to be intoxicated. The public prosecutor charged all the defendants with drug consumption and charged M M with possession of marijuana-laced cigarettes. A Y, M M and H N were also charged with illegal consumption of alcohol. The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges, though M M admitted he was intoxicated when the raid took place.

"I was not aware of my actions and drunk, Your Honour, when they raided our room," M M said in his defence. Lawyers argued yesterday that the case was not within the court's jurisdiction, saying that there was no proof that the defendants consumed the marijuana in the UAE. The advocates Salim al Sha'ali and Mr al Shamsi told the court that they want to question the forensic doctor who tested the defendants.

The court may dismiss the case if it accepts the defence claims regarding police procedures. The presiding judge Hamad Abdel Latif of the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance adjourned the case to next Monday to review the defence claims. amustafa@thenational.ae