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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 14 November 2018

Emirati evades prison after Court of Cessation revokes sentence

Defendant found to be in wrong place at wrong time

An Emirati who was sentenced to life in prison will walk free after having his conviction overturned.

In July last year, Abu Dhabi Criminal Court found the man, along with a second defendant, guilty of selling drugs.

The sentence was upheld by the Appeal Courts but the Court of Cessation – a higher judicial body - then revoked the sentence and referred the case to a new panel of appeal judges.

At that appeal, one of the defendants was cleared of all charges while his co-accused had his sentence upheld again.

“As per records, Al Ain drug control police received a tip off about the other Emirati defendant for selling drugs and not about my client,” said lawyer Ali Al Hammadi. He said his client, 23, had simply been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Police arrested the two men in a car on December 6, 2016, following a tip off that the driver of the vehicle was selling drugs.

The pair tried to escape by driving off only to be caught shortly afterwards after crashing into a lorry.

Police later searched the passenger’s house for drugs but found nothing. A small amount of crystal myth was found on him at the time of his arrest which the accused insisted was for his own use. Prosecutors still charged him with possessing drugs to sell.

“He admitted that the drugs was for his own use and the amount was obviously too little to be for sale,” said Mr Al Hammadi. “Now, after two years in this legal battle, we have won and he has been released.”