Pubdate: Sun, 22 Jan 2012
Source: National, The (UAE)
Copyright: 2012 Abu Dhabi Media Company
Author: Haneen Dajani


ABU DHABI // A young man sentenced to life in prison for drug dealing 
has had his sentence reduced to three years.

F, a Jordanian, tried to sell Dh1,000 worth of hashish to an 
undercover officer. F, who was 17 when arrested, confessed to the charges.

But the Criminal Court of First Instance decided to try him as an 
adult under Sharia law and sentenced him to life in prison.

Public Prosecution took the rare step of appealing against the 
verdict and asking for a lighter sentence, saying drug crimes do not 
fall under Sharia oversight, unlike adultery, murder or crimes 
related to alcohol, and the boy should be sentenced as a juvenile.

Juveniles serve time in correction centres, not prisons.

Two other defendants who were convicted of using hashish were 
sentenced to time in a correction centre, followed by deportation.

A legal source explained the court tried F as an adult because drugs 
have the same effects as alcohol. The Court of Appeals continued to 
view F as an adult but reduced the sentence out of mercy, he said.
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