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Drug dealers who shot police in Baniyas sentenced to life in prison

ABU DHABI // Two men who shot police officers during a drug-dealing ambush in Baniyas have each been handed 50-year sentences.

The Court of Cassation on Tuesday issued one life sentence each to Yemeni Fahad Abdullah and Emirati Mohammed Khamis for using force against on-duty policemen, and one to each for drug dealing.

In February 2012, Abdullah and Khamis were about to sell 20 kilograms of hashish to undercover policemen in Baniyas when they realised they had been ambushed.

They shot at the patrol, injuring two policemen. Abdullah was caught at the scene, while Khamis was caught at the UAE border while trying to flee to Yemen.

They were also ordered to pay a total of Dh143,000 to the first police officer and Dh40,000 to the second, and Dh100,000 each for using force against them.

The Court of Cassation’s decision is the final verdict for the case for the crime, which became known as the “Baniyas ambush”.

Abu Dhabi Criminal Court had initially sentenced the two men to death for bringing hashish from abroad with intent to sell.

But the Appeals Court revoked the decision and sentenced them to 15 years, finding the pair not guilty of dealing and only possessing the drugs. It handed down a life sentence to each for attacking public employees in the line of duty.

The verdict was referred to the Court of Cassation, which rejected the ruling and sent the case back to appeals. The Appeals Court upheld the life sentence for attacking police, but changed the charge of possession with intent to sell to possession for no purpose.

They were sentenced two 10 years in prison.

The case was again brought to the Court of Cassation, which issued the final verdict, found them guilty of bringing drugs into the UAE with intent to sell, and issued them the extra life sentence.

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(via The National)