For illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Agency

Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi Federal Criminal Court has cleared three defendants — two Britons and a Frenchman — of possessing cocaine for the purposes of trafficking, a crime that would have carried the death sentence.

The trio were instead sentenced to two years in prison to be followed by deportation and fined Dh10,000 for drug abuse.

Ali Khalaf Al Hosani, the lawyer of the three male defendants, said the trafficking incident had been fabricated, stressing the legality of the money seized on one of the accused.

“The investigation papers were completely devoid of any concrete evidence that my clients were involved in drug trafficking, and that the charges were based on statements that had no legal basis and were not based on material evidence,” Al Hosani said in his pleading.

He added that the seized quantity of narcotics is not more than a dose for any drug abuser.

“In the absence of any concrete evidence of the possession of narcotics for the purpose of trafficking, the honourable court dropped the charge of trafficking.”

In order to protect the defendant’s right to due process, attorney Al Hosani, sought in his defence to amend the charge, stressing the invalidity of the investigations for the lack of an interpreter with the accused during the gathering of evidence.

“There was conflict between the testimony of the witnesses and the statements of the accused,” the lawyer said.

Al Hosani said that the police should search for the source of these drugs and their suppliers in order to eradicate their roots.