Case Study: Possession and Using of Drugs in the UAE
|Date Added: January 25, 2015 06:49:50 AM|
|Author: Hassan Elhais|
|Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultancy (www.awf.ae) is representing a client from an African country who was accused and detained for possession and usage of narcotic drugs such as Hashish and Marijuana. Our client, along with six other individuals, was accused of illegal possession of hashish and marijuana in December 2013.
Police and anti-narcotic CID obtained information from their reliable sources indicating that our client, along with his acquaintances, who were residing in Dubai Marina, possessed narcotic drugs and have been witnessed using those drugs in the privacy of their homes. In these kinds of matters, if Police obtains any conclusive evidence or piece of information then they are obligated to seek permission and an order from the Public Prosecution to carry out serious investigations. This order should come from the Public Prosecutor himself and names of the accused should be mentioned along with a time frame to execute that order. This is pursuant to Article 221 and Article 228 of the Criminal Procedure laws.
After obtaining the investigation and search warrant, Police raided apartment of one of our clients acquaintances. They did find quantities of marijuana and Hashish. Our client happened to enter into the apartment whilst police were carrying out their investigations. Police suspected that our client might be involved with his acquaintances – which led them to search and conduct medical tests on our client. Police concluded that our client, along with his acquaintances, was in fact using drugs and possessed a small quantity of hasish with him. They were all immediately detained and taken to the Police station. Our client later confessed and admitted that he was infact possessed and used drugs in the privacy of his home.
After his arrest, the Public Prosecutor transferred the matter to the criminal court to render a judgment for possession and using of drugs. Our client sought legal assistance and appointed Al Rowaad Advocates as his attorneys to represent him in this matter. Before the court of first instance, we argued that Police and Public Prosecution made a serious error in following criminal procedure laws prior to our client’s arrest. First instance ruled that all accused have admitted and confessed possession of drugs, hence they should be held guilty for possession and using of illegal drugs. The case was then referred to the court of appeal. Our argument, before the court of appeal, was Police should have requested a search warrant and investigation order from the public prosecutor after obtaining a conclusive piece of evidence indicating our client’s involvement in possession of drugs. The search warrant that police had did not state the name of our client and did not indicate the time frame to execute the prosecutor’s order. Despite all our efforts to obtain a favourable judgment, the court of appeal rejected all our arguments and sustained judgment rendered by court of first instance.
The matter was then referred before the court of cassation. Our arguments, before the court of cassation, in summary, was the serious error in investigation procedure along with a lack of conclusive evidence indicating our client’s involvement in possession of drugs. We further argued that our client’s confession and admission should not be accounted for because the mere admission of possession resulted from a serious error in procedure. Therefore admission of possession should be rendered null and void which resulted from the void procedural conduct by the police and public prosecution. As a result, the court of cassation transferred the matter back to court of appeal to further investigate the matter. Court of Appeal shall endevaour to produce more evidence to render a final verdict in this matter.