x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Inmates get nine months each in jailhouse fire

They began assaulting officers during an inspection of their ward, police testified.

DUBAI // Eleven inmates were sentenced to nine months each this morning for endangering lives and assaulting officers during a fire to Al Qusais detention centre.

They had denied the charges before Judge Jamal Al Jubaili at the Dubai Court of Misdemeanours last month.

Prosecutors say the men set fire to their sponge mattresses and the furniture items available at the centre's Ward B. They are standing a separate trial on the arson charge at the Criminal Court of First Instance.

They were sentenced to six months in prison each for endangering lives and three months for causing Dh201.699 in damage, issuing threats to police officers, insulting them and assaulting them.

The defendants, 10 Emiratis and a stateless man, were identified as KS, ME, FB, TK, HE, EA, BS, FA, SS, KA and AJ. Their ages range from 19 to 39.

A Dubai police captain, AY, 31, testified that detainees in the ward tried to assault officers conducting an inspection.

He said the officers used pepper spray to disperse the detainees and called for backup. Twenty more officers arrived, but the detainees piled behind the ward's door to stop them from entering.

AY added that smoke then began pouring from the windows and the civil defence was called.

salamir@thenational.ae