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Life sentence of five men stalled by top court in UAE

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Five men who were sentenced to life in prison for possessing and dealing drugs will have their case heard again by the appellant court.

The Federal Supreme Court overturned the ruling that handed life-in-jail sentences to the drug dealers because they didn’t get a fair hearing at the appellant court. Court documents stated that the Asian expats were caught in a northern emirate while possessing drugs.

Investigations confirmed that they promoted the drugs in the UAE and their blood and urine samples tested positive for drugs. The men had admitted to possessing the drugs during interrogations by authorities.

Prosecutors had charged all five men with possessing and dealing drugs while four of them had an additional charge of consuming drugs. Prosecutors also demanded that the defendants be punished in accordance with the Federal Law on Combating Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.

Both the court of first instance and appellant court had sentenced the men to life in jail. Courts also added another two years in jail and fine of Dh10,000 to each of the four men who were accused of consuming drugs.

The men, however, challenged the verdict to UAE’s top court stressing that they didn’t get fair hearing.

Ali Al Abadi, lawyer of one of the men, argued that only one lawyer represented all of the defendants during their trial in the appellant court despite all of them having a conflict of interest in the case.

“The verdict violated the law by allowing one lawyer to defend the third and fourth defendants after each of them had confessed against the other,” he said.

The Supreme Court judge then cancelled earlier rulings and decided to send back the case to the appellant court for a fresh hearing.

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