x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Policemen on trial for drug deals in prison

Five policemen traded drugs inside Al Wathba prison, where an inmate died from an overdose, court hears.

ABU DHABI // Five policemen have been put on trial for dealing drugs inside Al Wathba prison.

The Public Prosecution charged the five following the death of an Emirati inmate who overdosed sometime before March 15.

Lawyers representing the five - who all deny dealing drugs - today asked the Criminal Court for an adjournment saying they needed more time to prepare their case.

One of the lawyers, Abdulhameed Al Kumaiti, requested the prosecution witnesses Colonel Mohammed Al Zaabi, manager of the prison, lieutenant Tarek Al Maghbari and the inmate SS be made to attend the next hearing.

"We need the colonel and lieutenant because they were present when the inmate died and they did CPR on him," said Mr Al Kumaiti.

The accused officers are the Emiratis AS, AS, SS, MS and the Pakistani FN. Mr Al Kumaity said that one of the officers was accused of bringing the drugs into the prison. He told Chief Justice Sayed Abdul Baseer, the head of the court, that he wanted to know from the jail manager and the lieutenant whether the officer in question was allowed to move freely around the jail, and whether he was allowed to communicate with the prisoners.

The judge asked why the lawyers wanted to hear from the inmate SS, who had already made a statement to the prosecution.

Mr Al Kumaiti replied that he was in the exercise yard with the deceased prisoner - an Emirati - at the time of his death and that there were more questions they would like answered.

The judge adjourned the case until May 28.

hdajani@thenational.ae