UAE: Drug dealer sentenced to life in prison gets reduced jail term

Abu Dhabi - The man challenged the ruling to the Abu Dhabi Appeals Court stressing that he was wrongly convicted of drug trafficking.



Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters
by

Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Sun 13 Jun 2021, 9:18 AM

Last updated: Sun 13 Jun 2021, 9:22 AM

An Abu Dhabi salesman who was convicted of possessing and dealing drugs in the UAE has had his life in jail sentence reduced to two years on appeal.

Official court documents stated that the Asian man in his 20s, was arrested after police investigations confirmed that he possessed drugs for trafficking purposes.

Prosecutors said the man, who worked in a jewellery store in Abu Dhabi, was caught with five packets of amphetamine and meth. Police also found other narcotics upon searching the man's home.

During interrogation at both police and Public Prosecution, the Asian confessed to possessing psychotropic substances for personal use. His urine samples also tested positive for drugs.

In court the man admitted to possessing psychotropic substances for personal use but denied dealing narcotics. Prosecutors had charged the expat with possessing, dealing and consuming drugs.

The Abu Dhabi Court of First Instance had earlier sentenced the Asian man to life in prison after he was found guilty.

The man challenged the ruling to the Abu Dhabi Appeals Court stressing that he was wrongly convicted of drug trafficking.

His lawyer said his client was only caught possessing a small amount of psychotropic drugs for personal use and that he was not a drug dealer. He also argued that prosecutors had not presented enough evidence to prove that his client dealt drugs.

According to the lawyer, the statements by the prosecution witness on which the first court relied on to sentence his client were not clear. He said the witness only spotted the Asian with some psychotropic substances but didn’t see him selling drugs to anyone.

The lawyer asked court to change the charge against his client from drug trafficking to drug abuse and to be lenient and award the man a lighter sentence. He said his client had vowed not to use drugs again.

After hearing from both prosecutors and the defendant’s lawyer, the appeals court judge maintained the ruling by the first court but reduced the man’s life in jail sentence to a two-year-imprisonment.

The Asian will be deported after serving his jail sentence.


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