x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Inmates deny setting jailhouse fire in Dubai

Men are charged with barricading themselves inside a detention block and igniting mattresses and furniture.

DUBAI // A half-dozen prisoners denied charges this morning that they set a fire in the Al Qusais detention centre in December.

Eleven people were charged with the fire but only six appeared before Judge Hamad Abdul Latif in the Criminal Court of First Instance.

Prosecutors said the men ignited their sponge mattresses furniture in Ward B at the centre. The fire caused Dh201,699 in damage, records show.
KS, ME, FB, TK, HE, EA, BS, FA, SS, KA and AJ are ages 19 to 39.
A Dubai police captain, AY, 31, testified that when he and other officers went to inspect the cells in Ward B, those detainees tried to assault them.

He said officers used pepper spray to disperse the detainees, but the men barred the ward’s door with several mattresses to prevent the officers from entering.

AY said that soon afterwards, smoke started pouring from the windows and firefighters were called in.

But FA said the inmates would tell a different story.

“There were about 97 detainees there, your honour, and I want them to come testify," he told the court.

The next hearing was scheduled for May 12.
salamir@thenational.ae