x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Two deny charges over pills, hashish

Men offer defence in drug case.

ABU DHABI // Two Egyptian men denied drug charges in court today, saying the drugs had been prescribed, did not change hands or simply did not exist.

AF, a chef, said he was prescribed Tramadol through a doctor, and that he had been treated in Salama Hospital. AM, also a chef, said he came to visit.

Prosecutors accused AM of giving him 12 tablets of the drug, but AF said there was no intent to break the law.

"He gave them to me as a form of help because he felt sorry for me," AF told the Criminal Court of First Instance.

AM denied bringing him drug and smoking hashish, with which he also was charged.

"I was in the restaurant at 2 o'clock and they called me and told me to come. Is that what I get for doing a favour?" he said. "I have a heart disease and I've lived in the UAE for 15 years. Why would I take something that will kill me?"

AM said he asked prosecutors to bring witnesses who would testify that he did not give AF any tablets. He further testified that AM put the tablets in his shop while he was drunk.

The case has been adjourned until August 8.

In a separate case, the lawyer for AS, 24, an Emirati, argued that his client is young and that throwing him in jail would ruin his future.

He asked the court instead to send AS, who confessed to taking drugs, to rehab.

"Let there be a ruling from the court in this blessed month," added the lawyer.

The verdict will be announced on August 9.

hdajani@thenational.ae