Dubai police deny torturing suspect who died in custody

Murder accused was assaulted before transfer, says officer.

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DUBAI // A senior officer from Naif police in Dubai alleged in court yesterday that a prisoner who died an hour after being taken into his custody had been beaten by Omani police.

BK, a Pakistani, had been arrested in Oman in connection with a kidnapping and murder case. He was transferred to Dubai police on May 28, 2010.

Major AM told the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance that BK was presented to him in such a bad state "he had to be supported by two policemen to stand".

He said policemen at Naif had not tortured BK, while the 13 Dubai CID officers charged in the case also denied torturing the suspect.

"The facial expression of the suspect was unnatural, his eyes were wide open, almost looking like a surprised person. He seemed to be in shock," AM told Judge El Saeed Bargouth.

"He looked frail and seemed close to passing out several times during the questioning."

During questioning by the judge, AM said he did not see bleeding or ripped clothes on the suspect. He said about an hour passed between when BK arrived and his death.

"He was taken to the CID office, which was 20 metres away from mine," he said.

However, two other men, MS and SH, who were arrested with BK, told prosecutors that Dubai CID officers tortured the three of them at Naif police station.

MS said he was arrested in Al Satwa, then placed in a CID car, where he was slapped and punched in the face, abdomen and thighs.

He was taken to Al Rafaa police station, then moved to Naif station.

Prosecutors said officers there hit him in the groin with a metal bar and a wooden stick, then stripped him naked and sprayed his body with WD40, an anti-rust agent.

Judge Bargouth questioned AM about the results of the forensic report presented by prosecutors.

"The report claimed that fresh bruises appeared on the victim's body, indicating that he might have been assaulted while in custody in Dubai; what do you have to say about that?" he asked.

AM denied any knowledge of the report.

AE, a forensics expert who examined BK's body, told prosecutors the man had suffered bruises all over his body, and that the cause of death was bleeding in the brain.

AE said the bruises were probably caused by sticks or bars, but some had been caused by bare hands.

The court adjourned the hearing to January 31 for the testimony of AE, MS and SH.