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Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Mumbai couple jailed in drugs case: Qatar’s highest court accepts plea, orders review

The couple was arrested and later sentenced to ten years imprisonment in 2019 for allegedly carrying 4.1 kg of hashish.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
February 8, 2021 1:39:56 am
The couple appealed in the appeal court in Qatar and their appeal was accepted on January 27, 2020 in which the court subsequently passed a verdict against them.

The Court of Cassation, the highest court in the Qatari judicial system, has accepted the plea of a Mumbai-based couple and withheld the verdict against the couple, further ordering the appeal court to review their case. The couple was arrested and later sentenced to ten years imprisonment in 2019 for allegedly carrying 4.1 kg of hashish.

Mohammad Shareeq and Oniba Qureshi had gone to Doha for their second honeymoon. The couple was against going to Qatar but they went as Shareeq’s aunt Tabassum Riyaz Qureshi, who had sponsored their trip, insisted they go. The two were then handed a bag at the last moment by Tabassum, who claimed that it was tobacco and asked them to give it to her friend there. “The two weren’t aware that the bag consisted of 4.1 kilogram of hashish,” said Oniba’s mother Parveen.

After they landed at the Hammad International Airport in Qatar on July 6, 2019, officials found drugs in their luggage after which the couple was taken into custody. They were arrested and subsequently the criminal court in November 2019 convicted them to imprisonment for ten years and imposed fine of three hundred thousand Riyals on each one of them.

Accordingly, the couple appealed in the appeal court in Qatar and their appeal was accepted on January 27, 2020 in which the court subsequently passed a verdict against them.

They then moved their appeal to the Court of Cassation, the highest court in the Qatari judiciary system, which after reviewing the documents and hearing the report read by the appointed justice and pleadings, ordered, “The verdict hasn’t replied for the defence supported with the documents as they hadn’t criminal intent as they were not knowing that the captured matters as narcotics and they were cheated by one of their relatives. This makes the verdict defective and worth for challenge.”

The Court of Cassation passed an order to review the case. The order read, “The court has ruled to accept the challenge formally and in the subject to re-consider the challenged verdict and return the case to the appeal court in order to rule with a new judgment under a different bench.”

Parveen further said that she was relieved by the order given by the highest court in Qatar and hopes that she will soon get to see her daughter and son-in-law. Oniba delivered a baby girl in the jail at Qatar.

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