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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 19 November 2018

Students who hid friend's body after drug death are jailed

Trio locked up for three months each after initial acquittal is overturned

Three students who left their dead friend in a car and tried to conceal evidence of his heroin overdose have been jailed - just months after being cleared at court.

The teenagers placed the deceased in the driver's seat of the vehicle, parked in a sandy area in Lehbab, Dubai, and removed syringes from the car after he died of an heroin overdose.

The trio, two aged 19 and one 18, were initially cleared of hiding a dead body and facilitating drug consumption by Dubai Criminal Court in March.

But the not guilty verdicts were overturned at Dubai Court of Appeal, with the defendants each ordered to serve three-month prison terms.

One of them is also facing a further charge of taking heroin. He is standing trial at the Court of Misdemeanor on this charge.

The deceased, identified only as Harib in court records, had been reported missing by his family on August 31 of last year.

The Emirati national had failed to return to his home in Al Warqaa and was later found to have died from a heroin overdose.

Police said that hours after Harib’s body was found in the driver’s seat of his car, which was parked just metres from a main road, one of the defendants called them saying he had information about Harib's death.

The defendant, accompanied by another of the accused, went to Lehbab Police station and said a third man, aged 18, called them the night Harib died.

“The two met with the third Emirati accused in the Al Warqaa area at around 2am and said he was the one who suggested they hide the body. They also said it was he who injected Harib with heroin and told them that when he noticed Harib’s condition was deteriorating, he injected him with citric acid in an attempt to revive him,” said a police officer.

Police arrested the 18-year-old, who told them that Harib was not feeling well when he had come to meet him that day and asked him to drive his car for him.

“He said that shortly after he took the driver’s seat, he noticed that Harib was not moving. He stopped and checked his breath, but the man was not breathing so he panicked and called his friends.

"When they came, he drove the car to a remote area in Lehbab, placed Harib in the driver seat and collected all the heroin syringes from the car before all three fled,” said the officer.