x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Evidence faulty, says hashish case lawyer

The lawyer for an Egyptian man charged with bringing less than a gram of hashish into the UAE says his client should be released due to the prosecution's improper procedures.

ABU DHABI // The lawyer for an Egyptian man charged with bringing less than a gram of hashish into the UAE said his client should be released due to the prosecution's improper procedures. "The story is that his bag got delayed, arrived here 15 days after him, opened, and they found a cigarette pack with a piece of hashish in it," said Tharwat al Hawary after the hearing at the Abu Dhabi Criminal Court of First Instance, where he is defending MQ, an engineering student. A chemical test found drug traces in the defendant's urine should be discounted because it did not indicate the amount of drug present and was probably caused by passive inhalation when he socialised with friends, Mr al Hawary said.

The lawyer said the drug was weighed by the customs officials at 0.6g, then the amount was increased to 0.68g by the prosecution. "It's a minuscule amount, but we have to cling to every shred in the case of a defendant who knows nothing about this," Mr al Hawary said. MQ has been in jail since an initial hearing last month. The verdict is due on August 23. newsdesk@thenational.ae