UAE | Crime

Jail term upheld for man who carried tiny qat leaf

A court has confirmed a four-year imprisonment against a visitor who was carrying a tiny drug leaf which his lawyer described as "dry and useless".

  • By Bassam Za'za', Staff Reporter
  • Published: 23:03 October 30, 2007
  • Gulf News

Dubai: A court has confirmed a four-year imprisonment against a visitor who was carrying a tiny drug leaf which his lawyer described as "dry and useless".

The Dubai Court of Appeal confirmed the initial verdict of four years in jail followed by deportation, and convicted the 20-year-old Saudi national, M.S., of smuggling and possessing drugs for personal use.

The Public Prosecution charged the accused with illegally bringing 0.52-gram of Qat drug (in the form of a green leaf) with the intent to use it.

The suspect pleaded innocent and denied his charges before the Court of First Instance which found him guilty.

His lawyer Saif Al Mutawaa, of Middle East Advocates and Legal Consultants, said: "My client had no intention to use the drug leaf. Drug enforcement officers found the insignificant qat leaf stuck on his kandoura [national dress] when he was coming from Yemen. It is dry and tiny enough not to affect the user."

Al Mutawaa earlier asked the court to examine the drug at the criminal lab to verify whether it's effectual or not.

"The defendant had no intention to bring the drug. However, it got stuck on his clothes and got corrupted on his way here. Had he any plans to use the drug, he would have placed it inside a special cooler to use it in the country. Besides, it is legal to use the qat drug in Yemen," argued the lawyer.

Defence lawyer told Gulf News yesterday that he plans to appeal the verdict to the Cassation Court soon.

Gulf News