Appeal court quashes 
jail term in poppy case

DUBAI — The Court of Appeal on Sunday acquitted a computer programmer of the charge of possession and importing of poppy, quashing thus a 10-year jail term and deportation order issued to him by a lower court.

By Marie Nammour

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Published: Tue 29 Mar 2011, 12:01 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 10:25 AM

The drug prosecution has referred the defendant — a 37-year-old Indian visitor— to the Court of First Instance for importing and possession of a bag containing poppy seeds weighing 48.8 grams. The Court of Appeal had recently granted the Indian defendant bail upon deposit of his passport and the passport of a guarantor who vowed to pay Dh50,000 if the bond conditions were not respected.

Defence lawyer Saeed Al Guilani argued in the court that his client had no idea that the product was banned. He said that the seeds seized from his client could not be grown and hence his client could not be incriminated. He requested that the imprisonment and deportation order be quashed.

Al Guilani said that his client worked and lived in the UK for 15 years. He pointed out that the UK bans and fights the drug marketing. “My client is still shocked till the present time and cannot understand what is happening to him. How could he buy a product in a store in the UK which is a country that bans and fights drugs?” He argued that prior to his arrival here his client bought poppy seeds from a spice shop in London. He put the seeds bag in an apparent place rather than hiding it inside the travel bag. —

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