courts

Medical condition prevented client from giving urine sample, lawyer tells court

Lawyer tells Appeal Court that client couldn’t urinate because of medical condition

16:14 August 8, 2017

Dubai: A medical condition prevented a convict from giving a urine sample to drug enforcement officers, argued a lawyer in court on Tuesday as he challenged a two-year imprisonment handed to his client.

In May, the Dubai Misdemeanours Court jailed the Emirati defendant for two years for failing to provide a urine sample to drug enforcement officers after they apprehended him in March.

“My client is sick and suffers from urinary retention … he does not have control over whether or not he can urinate. At the time when drug enforcement officers asked him for a urine sample, he could not urinate. He did not do so intentionally but he could not urinate and provide them with a urine sample for the drug test simply because he couldn’t urinate. Not urinating due to medical reasons is not and should not be deemed as a crime,” the defendant’s lawyer Saeed Al Gailani argued before the Dubai Appeal Court on Tuesday.

Drug enforcement officers raided the Emirati’s hotel room and apprehended him. Thereafter, he was taken to Dubai Police’s antinarcotics department before referring him to the Public Prosecution for failing to give a urine sample for the drug test.

Prosecutors accused the defendant of failing to provide a urine sample to drug enforcement officers and possessing two bullets.

When he appeared before the primary court, the Emirati contended that he could not urinate and provide a urine sample for the drug test. He admitted that he possessed the two bullets, which he claimed belonged to his late grandfather as souvenirs.

The Misdemeanours Court sentenced the Emirati to two years in prison for not giving a urine sample and six months for possessing two bullets.

Lawyer Al Gailani defended before presiding judge Dr Ali Al Galadari: “My client was forced not to give the urine sample because he could not urinate … he also could not force himself to urinate due to his illness. What happened is not a crime. Any person could be subject to urinary retention. Besides, law enforcement procedures were carried out improperly and illegally against my client. Prosecutors’ warrant that was granted to drug enforcement officers to take my client’s urine sample was valid for 24 hours only. Police records confirmed that urine test happened after three days … the law procedures that were carried out against my client should be void.”

After breaking the door and raiding the defendant’s hotel room, drug enforcement officers could not find any banned substances in his room, argued the lawyer.

“Policemen said they raided my client’s room because a number of hotel cleaners claimed that the defendant had beaten them. Supposedly, those claims were true, where did those complaints [of the workers] disappear? Besides none of those allegedly beaten cleaners was questioned or testified in court or before prosecutors. We ask the court to acquit our client of failing to urinate and provide a urine sample to drug enforcement officers for the drug test,” concluded Al Gailani.

A ruling will be heard later this month.