3 students cleared of hiding friend’s body

Court acquits trio of keeping victim’s body in car far away in desert due to lack of evidence

Dubai: Three students were cleared on Sunday of hiding their Emirati friend’s body in his car in a remote sandy area after he died from a heroin overdose.

An 18-year-old Emirati student was believed to have been using drugs with his friend when the latter overdosed and died in August 2017.

The 18-year-old was then said to have phoned his two other Emirati friends, aged 19, and asked them to help him to hide the body.

Citing lack of corroborated evidence, the Dubai Court of First Instance acquitted the three Emiratis of taking the dead friend’s car to a sandy spot in Al Hibab where they moved his body to the driver’s seat and left the car parked in an isolated area.

Presiding judge Mohammad Jamal also cleared the 18-year-old Emirati of providing heroin to the victim for consumption.

The friend was discovered to have died shortly after his family had lodged a missing person’s report, said records.

Despite being mentioned in records that police investigation revealed the involvement of the three students, the court acquitted them on Sunday.

One of the 19-year-old suspects was referred to the Dubai Misdemeanours Court to be tried for consuming methamphetamine and amphetamine, said presiding judge Jamal.

The suspects pleaded not guilty and refuted the accusation of hiding the victim’s body in the desert.

An police lieutenant belonging to anti-narcotics force told prosecutors that the victim was reported to have been missing.

“We contacted two of the deceased’s friends, to ask them about his whereabouts … but they said they did not know anything. A day later we were informed about the victim’s death, one of the suspects called us and claimed that he had some information about the incident. The caller and his friend [the two 19-year-old men] came to the police station … they alleged that the 18-year-old suspect was present with the victim on the day of the incident. They claimed that the 18-year-old contacted them and asked them to help him hide away the victim’s body after he died of heroin overdose. They also claimed that they met up with the 18-year-old, drove the deceased’s vehicle to Al Hibab area and parked the car in a sandy area … they moved the friend’s body to the driver’s seat to make it seem like he was alone when he overdosed on drugs and died,” the lieutenant said.

The court dismissed the charge against the trio of hiding the victim’s body.

Sunday’s ruling remains subject to appeal within 15 days.


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