Retrial of Bani Yas cop-shooting gunmen suspended



ABU DHABI // A judge has stepped down from the panel reviewing the case of the two gunmen who shot two policemen during an undercover drugs sting.

Judge Hassan Al Ismaeli voluntarily withdrew from the second appeal hearing of Emirati M K, and Omani F A, because he had been on the panel for the first appeals hearing.

The gunmen are appearing for the second time in front of the Appeals Court after the Court of Cassation sent their case back due to a procedural error.

Yesterday, the court decided to adjourn the case until April 28 – to assign a new member to the panel and to respond to the defence’s requests.

Defence lawyer Ali Al Abbadi asked for the forensics doctor who examined his client to be present at the next hearing.

He had previously claimed at the Criminal Court trial that the doctor’s statements proved his client had been tortured by police.

A number of defence witnesses were also summoned to give evidence at the next hearing.

Mr Al Abbadi had previously argued that police had entrapped the two men into selling them drugs by taking advantage of their poverty.

The duo had their death sentence commuted to life in prison by the first Appeals Court. They were also fined Dh50,000 each and ordered to pay Dh100,000 in damages to each of the policemen they shot.

The pair had tried to sell 20kg of hashish to the two undercover policemen in Bani Yas in February 2012. When they realised they were being ambushed by police they tried to shoot their way out.

F A was arrested at the scene, while M K was caught two hours later trying to flee to Yemen.

The case was sent back by the Cassation Court because records of the first appeals trial included the names of two judges only, and did not include the name of the third. There must be three judges registered in the case files for the trial to be complete.

hdajani@thenational.ae

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