Friday, November 24, 2017

Fact Not Fiction

The following report was written by a friend who has now left Dubai, it gives good insight into how the Prison and Judicial System is run. I take no responsibity for the accuracy of this report and am printing it in good faith.

"Lawyer's: Depending on the severity of your case and how much money you have depends on whether it's worth hiring a lawyer. A lawyer will charge you in advance and you have no recourse, they may not even turn up in court, but will send their minion. Up to you, for example, you're drunk and/or had a fight, don't bother, you're drink driving, don't bother.

 

At court you'll have a translator (or you should have) if you don't it'll be adjourned, all conversation takes place in Arabic and you will have no idea what's being said, the translator will not give you word-for-word, he'll summarise and quite often will miss out salient points. He doesn't care. You can always bring your own (paid for) translator but they're $$$. If you have a lawyer he'll say everything to the judge and ignore you, you'll probably say nothing but confirm your name. Judges don't like anything other than Arabic spoken in the courtroom.

There are 3 people on the bench, the judge is in the centre, his male secretary is on his left, and the Public Prosecutor (who is also the judges sponsor) sits on his right. Surprisingly most defendants (c90%) are found guilty....

You can appeal the verdict as soon as it's given (unless you're still in custody where it's off to Al Awir for you and you appeal the next day). It costs AED10 to appeal and your appeal will be heard when ever it's heard 3-8 weeks depending on how busy things are.
(Men, I don't know any women who've gone through this part). You get to central jail in Al Awir having spent 6 hours in the cells below the courthouse.... Where you are given a white uniform, no coloured things allowed, so white pant/socks etc.. You're then searched again (hash and phones have been found in there and certainly in police cells) and off you go to the transit section where you may if you're lucky get a bed, but more likely you'll be on your blanket (which isn't washed) on the floor. Each "Amber room has 96 bunks making a total of 192 beds. Later your photo gets taken and the next day you're transferred to your Amber for the duration of your sentence.

Breakfast is served at 5am, lunch at 11am and supper at 5pm. Hope you like rice...

There is a shop there that sells stuff like crisps, coke, choc, phonecards, toiletries, you're allowed to go twice a week. There are phone booths there and depending on what you've been charged with, depends on how often you can use them - illegal sex, ie living with a woman who isn't your wife: it's once a week for 5 minutes, (this is what my mate was done for, and he didn't have sex with her, she robbed him of AED60K, he reported it and was charged with living with her).

On the day of release you're let out of the jail, hope you've got transport cos it's a long walk...”

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