x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Inmates convicted of setting fire in cell

The men, initially held on drug charges, were sentenced to three years in prison for igniting their mattresses, prosecutors said.

DUBAI // Four men were sentenced this morning to three years in prison each for starting a fire at the Al Qusais police station’s detention facility in 2009.

The men, GE, FA and AH, Emiratis, and MA, an Iranian, are all in their 20s and were being held on charges of consuming and possessing drugs, records said. 

According to prosecution records at the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance, the four men endangered the lives of 65 other detainees when they set fire to their mattresses in December 2009. 

Al Qusais police officials told prosecutors that men had told an employee of the food and beverage company that provides the station with food, that they would not eat their meals, records said.

A police corporal said he tried to talk to them, but they insisted on talking to the officer on duty. 

Records showed that the police officer went to meet with them and they told him they had requests. They asked for cigarettes, better meals and to be treated as well as prisoners at other stations. 

The officer told them that each station has its own policy and that he would convey their requests to the director, according to his testimony in records. 

The officer called the station’s director, who approved the request for cigarettes. 

But before he could tell them, they had set fire to their mattresses, causing a massive fire that led to a ceiling collapse, records showed.

No one was injured in the firem but repairing the damage to detention cell G were cost more than Dh100,000.

salamir@thenational.ae