Dubai: A man was jailed for a year for aiding three others to get rid of their friend’s body by setting it on fire, after the latter died of a drug overdose.
The deceased man, an Emirati, was released on special pardon in November 2017 from Dubai Central Jail, where he had been serving a jail term over a drug case.
After spending a while at his home, he took his mother’s car and went out to visit his cousins, but failed to return for two days.
His mother was then called by the police to inform that her car had been found gutted by fire, with a body inside.
Investigations revealed that the burnt body was that of the recently released Emirati man. Further investigations revealed the involvement of an 18-year-old Emirati and three others from Comoros Islands in the incident.
Police arrested the teen Emirati and the other two, aged 20 and 23, while a fourth man remained at large.
In May, the Dubai Court of First Instance convicted the four defendants of deliberately setting fire to the body of the Emirati man, who had died of a drug overdose, and intentionally hiding his corpse.
The court ordered the defendants to jointly pay Dh64,000 as a fine, for intentionally destroying the car that they set on fire and causing damage to another car that was parked beside the vehicle.
The absconder, who was sentenced in absentia in May, was apprehended later by the police; he requested a retrial.
In his retrial, the accused pleaded not guilty.
According to the primary judgement of the retrial, presiding judge Mohammad Jamal sentenced the defendant to one year followed by deportation.
He was also ordered to jointly pay Dh64,000, along with the other defendants.
The civil lawsuit lodged by the victim’s family was referred to the Dubai Civil Court.
The deceased’s father testified that the incident happened after his late son had been pardoned and released from jail.
“I asked him to stay away from drugs and bad company. The Dubai Police’s Anti-narcotics Department called me on December 13 and asked me to bring my son [deceased] for his periodical drug test. The next day, the police called my wife and told her that her car had been found completely gutted and a body was inside it. The car had been parked in Abu Hail area. Later, we were informed that the burnt body was that of our son,” he said.