x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

UAE lawyer claims drug bust that snared Briton and Syrian was illegal

MB, a 19-year-old Syrian, and NS, a 25-year-old Briton, were sentenced to death in June for dealing marijuana.

ABU DHABI // A police operation that snared two drug dealers was illegal, the Appeals Court heard yesterday.

MB, a 19-year-old Syrian, and NS, a 25-year-old Briton, were sentenced to death in June for dealing marijuana.

They were arrested during a sting operation in which police claimed to have bought 20 grams of marijuana, worth Dh1,000, from MB. An officer said he had previously bought Dh500 worth of the drug, which prompted the ambush.

Police also found equipment for cutting up the resin at the Briton's house, plus bags bearing a cannabis-leaf logo. His phone had text messages discussing drug prices.

The Syrian claimed the drugs were for his personal use and he had no intention to sell.

His lawyer, Fayza Moussa, said it was impossible for the police officers to see the alleged deal, which took place in a poorly lit park at night.

She also claimed the texts were merely juvenile bragging, not evidence of dealing.

Mohammed Al Azazy, the Briton's lawyer, questioned police procedure, saying that neither the process used to get text messages nor the methods by which evidence had been collected were legally valid, meaning the whole case and convictions were invalid.

The case was adjourned until January 27.

hdajani@thenational.ae