Drug-tainted trio get jail in UAE after Saudi escapade

ABU DHABI — The Federal Supreme Court has sentenced three accused found guilty of abusing drugs in Saudi Arabia and, later, brought to book in Abu Dhabi, to four years in jail and flogging, followed by deportation.

By Adel Arafah

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Published: Thu 6 Jul 2006, 10:38 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 7:08 PM

Court records revealed that the Abu Dhabi police, armed with the mandate of the public prosecution, stormed the Sabaa Hotel following a tip-off on hashish addicts converging on the premises. The accused were nabbed red-handed and referred to the public prosecution, which charged the three accused identified as Ali Obaid Metihan, Fahid Saad, and Abdullah Hussain with abusing hashish and narcotics containing amphetamine.

The trio were also accused of being in possession of drugs, and unlawfully consuming liquor, despite being grown-up Muslims. The Abu Dhabi Shariah Criminal Court, in its sitting on July 19, 2005, found all the accused guilty of the charges framed against them and handed them a four-year jail term, followed by banishment.

The first accused was also convicted of illegally consuming alcohol and, hence, ordered to face 80 lashes. The second and third accused faced the same charge but were reprimanded and sentenced to 70 lashes each.

The three accused contested the verdict before the Abu Dhabi Shariah Criminal Court of Appeal which, on September 26, 2005 dismissed their petitions and upheld the earlier judgment. The second and third accused moved the Federal Supreme Court contending that the previous ruling be declared null and void since the prosecution's permission was not based upon serious investigation.

They claimed that their urine samples were taken in violation of law and that the case fell outside the realm of the court's jurisdiction for being perpetrated in Saudi Arabia. They cited Article 142 of the Punitive Procedures Code which stipulates that the jurisdiction is determined according to the location of the crime.

The Apex Court pointed out that the case did fall within its jurisdiction since the crimes of abusing and possessing drugs were connected. The accused could have abused drugs in Saudi Arabia and had been proved to have been in possession of drugs in Abu Dhabi and, as such, the court was rightfully in judgment on the case, it asserted.

The first accused had recently abused drugs in the UAE, as per a forensic report which asserted fresh and abundant traces of narcotics in his urine, the court held, and added that it felt satisfied with the evidence upon which the verdict of the Court of First Instance was based. Accordingly, the Apex Court, on June 17 last, rejected their petitions, and upheld the ruling of the lower court.

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