Drugs convict claims police threatened and beat him to confess

The accused claims he only confessed when threatened by police.

Powered by automated translation

ABU DHABI // A man has claimed police threatened to arrest his mother or brother if he did not confess to possessing drugs.

The Appeals Court heard on Sunday that A H, from Lebanon, was searched by narcotics police, and when they did not find any drugs in his possession or in his car, they told him to drive them to his home.

“When they did not find anything, why did they over-cross the public prosecution permit and take his urine sample?” asked his defence lawyer.

“If they found something on him, OK, then he was caught in the act, but forcing him to take them to his home …?”

Police found a pencil case in the man’s bedroom containing a small amount of drugs.

“I told them I have not seen it before, but they threatened to take my brother and my mother if I did not confess it was mine,” he said.

He claimed they repeated their threats during police questioning, threatening to beat him or arrest his mother and brother if he did not admit to the crime.

“They stripped me of my clothes and put me in a cold room,” said the accused.

“Then a decent policeman walked in and said he advises me to confess because my consumption offence was simple and I would only get sentenced to four years and receive a pardon.”

When he went to the Criminal Court he was also told to confess to get the case over with quickly and be included in the pardons, his lawyer said.

The court heard his confessions were invalid because he did not make them of his own free will and had been deprived of his right to a lawyer at that stage.

The urine sample was not included in the public prosecution permit, and the forensics laboratory report details contradicted details described in police reports, the man’s lawyer said.

The lawyer for A H’s co-defendant, Iraqi F R, argued that police had overstepped the public prosecution’s order.

“The order said to summon the defendant to prosecutors,” said the lawyer, Dr Mohammed Al Khazraji.

“The case was already with them. Why did they conduct their own questioning with him and take his sample?

“And they did not even ask him about the case at hand, which is supplying A H [with drugs]. They kept pressuring him to confess he was consuming,” the lawyer said.

The defendants are appealing against sentences of four years in prison and deportation.

Their lawyers asked for their acquittals and, if that was not possible, to cancel their deportation orders because they both came from unstable countries and their families lived in the UAE.

A verdict will be announced on November 30.