UPDATE: Alleged police torturer testifies against Wanstead and Ilford men in Dubai drugs trial
PUBLISHED: 11:55 08 April 2013 | UPDATED: 11:55 08 April 2013
A Dubai police officer who allegedly tortured three Redbridge men using electric shocks after arresting them on drugs charges testified against them in court today.
Suneet Jeerh, of Ilford, and Grant Cameron and Carl Williams, both of Wanstead, were helpless in the dock as prosecution evidence was given in Arabic with no translator this morning.
They all deny charges of drug possession and consumption with intent to supply.
According to Davena Kumar, who was at the hearing to support her brother Mr Jeerh, the policeman was identified as one of the men who tortured and beat the three men in a hotel in Dubai after their arrest.
In a witness statement, Mr Williams, of Herongate Road, described horrific abuse.
He wrote: “They pulled down my trousers, spread my legs and started to electrocute my testicles.
“It was unbelievably painful. I was so scared.
“I started to believe that I was going to die in that room.”
At a previous hearing on March 14, another alleged torturer, Lieutenant Othman Ali, denied any wrongdoing.
Under questioning by Mr Jeerh’s lawyer, he said the Brits had been treated “very well” and gave evidence against them.
The three friends, all 25, were jailed after police claimed to find synthetic cannabis, known as “spice” in their hire car.
They claim they tortured with electric shocks, beaten, and threatened with guns by police, before being made to sign documents they did not understand in Arabic.
A report by a torture expert last month supported their claims using X-rays, British Embassy reports and witness testimony.
According to Dr Frank Arnold, a cattle prod could have been the weapon used to torture the three men with electric shocks.
Authorities have refused him entry to asses the men’s injuries.
The United Arab Emirates has not conducted a “full impartial and independent investigation” in line with calls from the Foreign Office.
When a lawyer working with the men on behalf of human rights charity Reprieve attempted to visit Grant and Karl in prison last Monday, he was turned away.
The charity said Marc Calcutt was denied access despite having arranged the visit in advance with prison authorities.
He made a second attempt on Wednesday but was again refused, although he was allowed to see Suneet, who is being held in a different prison.
Reprieve investigator Kate Higham, who was with Mr Callcutt, said: “It is scandalous that Dubai is stopping these men from receiving legal support.
“They have already been brutally tortured, and had to wait for half a year before they were allowed to see any lawyer at all.
“British tourists are going to start thinking twice about visiting Dubai when they see the treatment they can expect.”
The charity is campaigning for the charges to be thrown out in light of the torture allegations.
The next hearing is scheduled for April 18, when the defence is expected to start.
Suneet’s sister Miss Kumar is extending her stay in Dubai to support her brother.
She said: “He’s just given up now, mentally he’s given up.
“If the embassy pulled their finger out and helped the case would be dropped.”
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said it is providing consular assistance to the three prisoners and has raised torture allegations “at a very senior level”.
The office cannot overrule another country’s laws or legal processes.
Dubai’s National Media Council has said police deny allegations of torture.
An online petition demanding the immediate release or Grant, Karl and Suneet has more than 1,300 signatures.
Sign it at www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/government-of-the-uae-release-grant-cameron-karl-williams-and-suneet-jeerh.
A website, dubaitorture.co.uk, has contact details for MPs and other organisations for people wanting to take action.
Are you a relative of Grant or Karl? Contact us on 0208 477 3821 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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