x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Thirteen Dubai policemen cleared of torturing prisoner

Appeals Court upholds acquittal of 13 policemen accused of torturing a prisoner to death.

DUBAI // The Appeals Court yesterday upheld the acquittal of 13 policemen accused of torturing a prisoner to death.

The officers faced a variety of charges including abuse of power, unlawful detention, torture, extensive use of force, forgery and giving false statements over their treatment of three Pakistani prisoners who were arrested in 2010.

The Appeals Court upheld a verdict by the Criminal Court that cleared them of all the charges except for unlawful detention.

On this charge, both courts agreed five officers were guilty and passed a sentence of one month in jail for each of the five officers.

The officers were reported to prosecutors after an Egyptian forensics expert at the police’s criminal laboratory noticed extensive bruising on the corpse of the dead prisoner, B?K.

The doctor found that the prisoner had died from bleeding in the brain, caused by a severe beating.

The three prisoners were arrested at the end of May 2010 on suspicion of the kidnapping and murder of their compatriot, a businessman.

One of the surviving prisoners, M?S, a 22-year-old cashier, claimed all the men had been beaten at various times in late May and early June.

He claimed the officers had hit the prisoners in their groins with a metal bar and sprayed the anti-rust agent WD40 into his nether region.

The other surviving prisoner claimed he had been tied up and stood in a dark room where he was left for more than 12 hours. He claimed he was told that if he moved he would be beaten again.

Both claimed to have heard their fellow prisoner being tortured. They claimed they had seen him lying motionless on the floor of another cell with his head face down.

The forensic doctor said that the bruises on the dead man were probably caused by sticks or bars, but that some had been caused by bare hands.

He said the beating caused the prisoner’s kidneys to fail.

A paramedic testified that she and her colleagues were called to Naif police station where they found the man on the floor with “bruises all over his body”.

The prisoner was already dead. Rescuers tried to resuscitate him but could not.

The 13 officers – nine Emiratis, two Pakistanis and two Omanis – include a lieutenant colonel, a captain, five lieutenants and six officers.

salamir@thenational.ae