Indians victim of biased investigation: Lawyer
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Last Updated: Tuesday, April 20, 2010, 20:48
Chandigarh: The 17 Indians on death row in UAE for allegedly killing a Pakistani have claimed that they were not provided with a copy of charge sheet and the trial took place in Arabic which they did not understand, according to a lawyer who met the convicts.

Claiming that the Indians were victims of "biased investigation", lawyer Navkiran Singh told reporters here that the prisoners were also made to sign documents which were in Arabic language.

Singh, who also works with an NGO, said he met the Indian prisoners for two hours during his visit to Dubai on April 13 and 14.

Sharing the details of his meeting, Singh said the inmates told him that they were brutally tortured for nine days by policemen.

Singh, who was accompanied by another lawyer Gagan Aggarwal during the meeting, said that none of the accused was supplied with a copy of the charge sheet.

"The whole trial took place in Arabic language which the accused never understood," he added.

Since the charge sheet was never made available to them in Arabic or their native language, the whole trial is vitiated as the accused did not get an opportunity to prove their innocence, he said.

During the trial, the prisoners claimed, that on the first three hearings the brother of the deceased, who was said to be an eyewitness to the killing, could not identify any of the accused present in the court.

"Besides these 17 prisoners, another Indian was also sentenced to death in another case and eight more are also facing trial," Singh said.

The Indian consulate has entrusted Chettur's law firm, Mohamed Salman Advocates and Legal Consultants with the case following the March 29 judgement by a Sharjah Shariah Court.

The case will now be heard by a UAE appellate court on May 19.

Singh demanded that Indian consulates introduce a mechanism to ensure that that they are provided with information immediately when an Indian national is taken in custody and that the human rights of its citizens are not violated.


First Published: Tuesday, April 20, 2010, 20:48

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