Reports: UAE Court Sentences Two Drug Dealers to Death


An Abu Dhabi court sentenced to death two drug dealers who shot and wounded undercover police officers during an arrest operation in Bani Yas, local media reported on Tuesday.

In February, the state news agency WAM had reported that the pair -- a 26-year-old Emirati and a 19-year-old Yemeni -- shot and wounded two police officers in Bani Yas, west of Abu Dhabi city.

On Monday, the criminal court sentenced them to death "after they were convicted of carrying and trafficking hashish, stating that the death sentence overrules other sentences," al-Ittihad daily said.

English-language daily, The National, reported that the Emirati was also sentenced "to life imprisonment for attempted murder" and ordered to pay the two officers compensation up to 40,000 dirhams ($10,869).

The Yemeni "was given 10 years and fined 20,000 dirhams ($5,434) for resisting arrest and attacking the policemen," it reported.

These sentences, however, are overruled by the death penalty as reported by al-Ittihad.

United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan will decide upon the method of execution, said The National.

The two men were arrested when they tried to sell 20 kilograms of hashish.

One of the men was arrested at the scene, The National said, while the other "initially escaped after shooting the two undercover officers but was arrested two hours later trying to flee to Yemen."

The death sentence will be appealed.

The UAE has very strict drug laws, and the customs department occasionally announces drug seizures in the country, where narcotics use is strictly prohibited.

Trafficking in illegal narcotics is punishable by death, though the sentences are often reduced to life imprisonment.

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