x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Man accused of drug possession 'framed by police', Dubai court told

A man accused of drug possession was framed by police who wanted to blackmail him into becoming an informant, his lawyer claimed in court today.

DUBAI // A man accused of drug possession was framed by police who wanted to blackmail him into becoming an informant, his lawyer claimed in court today.

Advocate Saeed Al Ghilani told the Criminal Court that a bag of hashish was planted on his client, MA, 41, a manager from Egypt, by police shortly after he met a woman who had called him pretending to need his help.

He said the woman called his client and asked to meet him behind the Bustan Centre in Al Qusais, and that when the man arrived anti-narcotics officers arrested him.

"They found absolutely no drugs on him therefore they suddenly showed him a small piece they claimed was drugs and told him they found it in his laptop bag," said Mr Al Ghilani. "Is there a sane man who would take drugs in a public centre?" he added.

Mr Al Ghilani claims police set up his client so that they could blackmail him into working as an informant. He said that following the arrest his client complained and was told by a police major that he would be released on the condition that he would find people dealing or taking drugs and report them. The major told him he had one month to find someone.

The man was released on February 14, but when he returned one month later and told the major he had not found anyone he was arrested again and referred to court.

"When he was arrested your honour, the drugs the officers showed him weighed 0.4 grams but as you can see in the records, prosecutors say the drug weighed 0.25 grams - so where did the difference come from?" asked the lawyer.

"My client is a decent man, he is a general manager and currently preparing for his PHD but his arrest came in between to damage all that," said the lawyer, who asked the court to acquit the man.

A verdict was scheduled for May 27.

salamir@thenational.ae