Surprise as man jailed in drug case receives additional charges

When the defendant appeared at court in Abu Dhabi, he told the judge he was surprised to learn he faced the additional charges in the capital.

ABU DHABI // A man jailed in Dubai on one drug count has pleaded guilty to two different and more serious charges in Abu Dhabi in the same case. AAS, a Pakistani, and MM, an Egyptian, appeared this week before the Abu Dhabi Criminal Court of First Instance charged with possession and consumption of hashish and opium. AAS was accused in Dubai only of facilitating the consumption of drugs, a lesser charge. The case in Abu Dhabi had been adjourned several times because AAS was in a Dubai prison.

When AAS appeared at court in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, he told the judge he was surprised to learn he faced the additional charges in the capital. "How is it possible that I am accused of two things for something I did in the same day and in the same place?" he asked. The law states a defendant cannot be accused of different criminal offences for the same case, said lawyers not connected with the case. A court is required to try a defendant on the most serious of all the charges available, they said. It is not clear whether there will be a trial in Dubai.

Both defendants pleaded guilty to possessing and consuming hashish. AAS also pleaded guilty to possessing and consuming opium. Forensic tests showed they had consumed those drugs. @Email:hhassan@thenational.ae

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