The brother of an Essex man jailed in Dubai on charges of drug possession plans to appeal and fight to clear his name.
Suneet Jeerh, 25, is one of three men that sentenced to four years on charges of possessing, consuming and intending to distribute illegal drugs after being arrested last year. While two are reportedly relieved that the supply charges had been dropped, Aneet Jehrh said his family were “deeply disappointed” with the verdict and believes the judgement was deliberately designed to “appease Britain without losing face”.
Mr Jeerh said his brother was “a broken man” and that the family would appeal the decision and “fight to clear his name”. “He did not do anything wrong except hire a car on holiday; there is no evidence connecting him to the drugs and to impose the same verdict on all three men shows yet another inconsistency in the legal system.”
Grant Cameron, 25, and Karl Williams, 26, also from London, were also convicted after a quantity of synthetic cannabis called “Spice” was found in their hire car leading to arrest last year. But the car was rented in Suneet’s name and he subsequently spent much of his period in custody inside a separate prison to the other men where his family allege that he witnessed numerous scenes of violence.
Mr Jeerh told The Independent: “In the last three months Suneet has disintegrated in to an emotional mess. Our main learning is that Dubai seems to be impervious to international law and it is hard to see what presence Britain has there beyond issuing a visa.”
The three men, dressed in white prison overalls, made a brief appearance during the sentencing at Dubai's criminal court. While authorities have dropped charges of supply, which could have carried sentences of as high as 30 years, Mr Jeerh’s family maintain he is entirely innocent and that there is no evidence connecting him to the drugs found in the car. Pressure group Reprieve, which campaigns on behalf of prisoners, said the men should be granted clemency and their torture allegations should be thoroughly investigated.
Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the UAE president and one of the world’s wealthiest monarchs, arrives at Windsor Castle tomorrow as part of a three-day state visit intended to cement diplomatic relations between the two countries. But his trip has been overshadowed by the allegations of mistreatment.
John Cryer, the Labour MP for Leytonstone, where Mr Jehrh is from, said the entire case had been “riddled with inconsistencies and doubts”. He has urged the Prime Minister to raise the case with President Sheikh Khalifa when they meet in Downing Street on Wednesday.
He added: “This case has shone a light into the working of a legal system and what we can see looks pretty bad. The UAE authorities failed to investigate the men’s torture, or produce a report on that investigation – in line with the UAE’s commitments under the international treaties to which they are signatories.”
The men claim they signed documents in Arabic - a language none of them understands - following their arrests after they were threatened with guns to their heads. Mr Williams also reported having electric shocks administered to his testicles. Today Grant Cameron's mother Tracy told The BBC they were "really happy" the supply charges had been dropped.
There are currently 26 British citizens imprisoned in the United Arab Emirates, where an estimated 92 per cent of the prison population is comprised of foreign nationals.