x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 July 2017

Inmate died in cell after six months in custody

Reports cite drug overdose; court orders statement of death and death certificate to learn cause.

DUBAI // A man awaiting trial on drug charges died of an overdose in his cell after being in police custody for more than six months, a court heard this morning.

The 27-year-old Emirati defendant, Issa Khalil Mahdi, died on February 4, according to a letter provided to court from the chief of the Rashidiya police station.

Mahdi, who was unemployed, arrived in police detention on June 9, 2010, after being arrested in a sting operation by the Dubai Police two days earlier.

Prosecutors said Mahdi attempted to sell 0.57 grams of heroin to a police informant.

The cause of death was not revealed in court today, but it had been reported he was killed by a drug overdose.

Mahdi first appeared in court on October 24 and denied the charges against him.

Judge Fahmy Mounir Fahmy of the Dubai Criminal Court of first Instance asked public prosecutors today to provide an official statement confirming the death and a death certificate.

The case has been adjourned to March 27 for the documents to be provided.