ABU DHABI // A police officer who admits consuming hashish was "just going through a phase", his lawyer told the Criminal Court today.
"I'm very surprised to see someone like him in prison," said Fayza Moussa. "He's been in this post for more than 15 years, his behaviour and ethics were outstanding."
She asked for a psychiatric committee to assess the officer and see if an "emotional crisis" had lead him to take drugs.
"This is my only request, he has already confessed in front of police, prosecutors and the court," she added.
However, after the lawyer had emphasised the officer's clear record, the clerk discovered he had been before the court before, when he confessed to smoking hashish during a visit to Egypt for a wedding.
The clerk said that both the Criminal and Appeals Court convicted the officer of taking drugs on that occasion, but that he was cleared by the Cassation Court, which ruled he had consumed the drug unknowingly.
"I remember this case," said Chief Justice Sayed Abdul Baseer. "He said he was in a taxi on his way to the airport and the taxi driver offered him a pack of cigarettes so he took it and didn't know he was smoking drugs. Then the pack was caught with him at the airport."
The judge agreed to refer the officer to the psychiatric committee.
"You have to repent and stop - your age is passing," he told the 45-year-old officer. "I don't want to see you here again."