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Mon 16 Jun 2008 10:13 AM

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UAE prison wardens on trial

25 jail wardens accused of abusing their authority, beating inmates during prison inspection.

The lawyers of 25 jail wardens accused of abusing their authority and beating inmates defended their clients at Dubai Court of First Instance on Sunday.

The Public Prosecution has charged the wardens with abusing their authority after allegedly beating an Armenian inmate, leaving him with a permanent 10% spinal disability, and injuring others, UAE daily Gulf News reported on Monday.

Seven lawyers defended the 25 wardens accused of beating inmates during a surprise inspection to search for banned substances, and said they were relied on the surprise factor during the search.

Khalifa Al Salman and Ali Musabbeh of Salem Al Sha’ali and Co. Advocates and Legal Consultants said the use of force in prison is regarded differently from its use outside.

A former prison director, three lieutenants and 21 policemen have already pleaded innocent, the newspaper said.

It was not clear where or when the alleged offences occurred.