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Mon 3 Sep 2018 03:11 PM

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Dubai Civil Defence officer jailed over death of cyclist

Emirati Mizna Abdullah Ali, a member of Al Wathba cycling team, was training in Dubai's Meydan area when she was hit by the vehicle of Civil Defence officer

Dubai Civil Defence officer jailed over death of cyclist

A 22-year-old Dubai Civil Defence officer has been jailed for six months after killing a cyclist in a road crash on May 23, local media reported on Monday.

Dubai Traffic Court has convicted the officer, a second lieutenant, for manslaughter and speeding, as well as damaging property, failing to pay attention on the road, driving a vehicle with an expired licence, making substantial modifications to the vehicle, using tinting above permitted limits on all windows and racing with an unidentified driver.

He was also fined AED12,000 and ordered to pay AED200,000 in blood money. Moreover, starting from his date of release from jail, he will be banned from driving for three years.

The victim, Emirati Mizna Abdullah Ali, was a member of Al Wathba cycling team. She had been training with fellow teammates in Dubai’s Meydan area when she was hit by the vehicle. Ali died in the hospital after paramedics’ attempts to save her failed.

The defendant argued that he was driving within the speed limit, and that he had been taken by surprise when Ali appeared metres away from his vehicle. Reports have shown he had driving another person’s Nissan Patrol at the time of the crash.

His lawyer Mohammed Al Mansouri had argued that it was the cycling team’s supervisor who was to blame for the incident, claiming that he failed to take safety measures by arranging dedicated paths for the cyclists. The court, however, refuted the accusations, while Al Mansouri said his client would appeal against the verdict.

Earlier this year, fellow cyclist Mehnaz Amin Kamali dedicated her prize to Ali after winning Dubai's 75km amateur cycling race for UAE nationals.

At the awards ceremony, Ali's team said her death has left them devastated.

“The death of Mizna is a really painful moment for us all. Tonight, she was supposed to be standing here with her teammates, hoping to achieve one of her most important goals – of winning this race – for which she had been training for a long time,” Sulaiman Al Hammadi, head of the Al Wathba cycling team, told Dubai radio station ARN.