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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 September 2018

Men who set fire to Dubai Police station, killing 14, denied early release

The five men already served 15 years of their life sentences and obtained a certificate of good conduct from the prison

Five inmates who set a police station on fire and caused the deaths of 14 prisoners were denied early release after serving 15 years of a life sentence.

The convicts, three Emiratis, an Omani and the fifth person who doesn’t have identification papers were detained in Bur Dubai police station in October 2001.

Court records said the men, who were attempting to escape, used a cigarette lighter to start the fire in a foam mattress in a cell at the station’s prison where inmates involved in drug-related cases were kept.

Fourteen prisoners died due to carbon monoxide poisoning while 15 others were injured.

In 2003, Dubai Criminal Court sentenced the men to life in prison and ordered they pay Dh2.1m in blood money to the parents of the dead prisoners and jointly pay Dh209,830 to the police station in damages.

The judgement was upheld by Dubai Court of Appeal and Dubai Cassation Court.

According to UAE law, a convict can apply for early release after completing 15 years of a life sentence on the condition that they obtain a certificate of good conduct from the prison.

The men obtained the certificate and applied for early release.

“God knows that we repented and changed during the time we have spent behind bars. Almost 16 years in prison during which we have learnt many lessons, memorised the Quran and we underwent several reformative programmes,” said one of the men to the court.

Prosecutors requested the court to reject the men’s plea saying the men committed a terrible crime.

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