Man cleared of passport drug charge

A traveller who handed passport control officials his passport with an amount of hashish inside it is cleared by an appeals court.

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AL AIN //A man accused of handing airport officials a passport with a small amount of hashish has been cleared by the Appeals Court.

The British-Iraqi expatriate was arrested with a friend as he was trying to enter the country, the court heard last week.

His lawyer Abdulla Al Hamdani argued at the Criminal Court that his client could not have known there was hashish in the passport or he would not have willingly given it to security staff.

But the Criminal Court sentenced him to four years in prison for possessing the drug.

It cleared his friend, despite a trace of the drug being found in his urine sample, as it ruled it was not authorised to deal with his case. Because the two men had just arrived on UAE soil, he could not have consumed the drug while in the country, and the law applied only to those who took drugs inside its borders.

The Appeals Court cleared the other man on the ground that the accusation was "unrealistic".