A Dubai appeals court has upheld a four-year sentence handed down to three Britons in April on drug charges, the lawyer of one of the defendants said on Tuesday.
Grant Cameron, Karl Williams and Suneet Jeerh were arrested in July 2012 during a holiday in the United Arab Emirates. Police said they had found a form of synthetic cannabis in their hire car.
The three were convicted on April 29, a day after British Prime Minister David Cameron voiced concern about allegations of torture during their detention.
“The sentence was expected of course because they all tested positive for having drugs in their body and so it was nearly impossible to have the ruling amended,” Abdel-Hamid Mahdi, the lawyer who represented Grant Cameron, said. The appeals court verdict was issued on Sunday.
The three had pleaded not guilty to charges of possession of illegal drugs and said police had subjected them to beatings and threatened them with guns – allegations the police deny.
There is zero tolerance for drug-related offences in the UAE, a regional business hub and tourist destination where millions of expatriates live and work. There are severe penalties for drug trafficking and possession.
Mahdi said the three may be pardoned at some point.
“It is almost 99 per cent sure that they won’t serve out their full term in prison, as at the first opportunity we are expecting a pardon,” he said.