x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Taxi driver gets suspended term over passenger death

A taxi driver charged with assaulting a passenger, who later died of a heart attack, has been given a one-year suspended prison term by a Dubai court.

DUBAI // A taxi driver charged with assaulting a passenger, who later died of a heart attack, was given a one-year suspended prison term by a Dubai court yesterday.

The deceased man, Hussein Ali, died in police custody moments after he was arrested on February 26 last year for fighting with the Pakistani driver MN, 44, near the Hyatt Regency hotel in Deira, court records show.

Officers discovered Mr Ali was dead in the back seat of the patrol car when it arrived at Naif police station, records state.

MN was then charged at the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance with assault leading to death, facing up to 10 years in jail and Dh250,000 in blood money penalty if found guilty.

The prison sentence is suspended for three years.

According to prosecutors, Mr Ali took MN's taxi, ordering him to "go straight". After a while, according to MN's testimony to prosecutors, MN asked him to identify a destination. An argument erupted between the two and MN said Mr Ali physically attacked him.

When police arrived blood was found around the vehicle resulting from the fight and a police officer testified that he saw blood on MN's face.

An ambulance was called and the driver told prosecutors that Mr Ali had not complained of injuries and he was released into police custody.

A post-mortem examination from the police coroner stated that the death was caused by a heart attack triggered by psychological and physical stress. The report also said Mr Ali had an advanced heart condition that caused minor heart attacks.

salamir@thenational.ae