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The BBC's Julia Wheeler
"The British people accused in the case sat in silence as the court heard the evidence in Arabic"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 13 March, 2001, 08:53 GMT
Drug charge Britons face death penalty
Dubai, UAE
Drug charges are taken extremely seriously in the UAE
Five Britons are due to go on trial to face drugs charges in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Three of them, charged with importing drugs, face the death penalty if found guilty.

The Britons are being tried as a group with an Australian woman and a Lebanese man.

Together they face a variety of allegations including importing, possessing and using cocaine and hashish.


The case is being heard in the Sharia court in the traditional and conservative emirate of Ras al Khaimah, where the accused have been held in prison since their arrest in Dubai in November.

Anna Bartlett, 22, from Southend on Sea, Essex, admits importing cocaine and hashish but denies any intent to use, sell or trade them.

Fellow Briton Stacy Simpson, 28, and his girlfriend Anne Kidd, 32, both from Leeds, deny collaborating with Ms Bartlett to import cocaine and hashish.

He also denies possessing, selling and using cocaine, hashish and other tablets.

Ms Kidd also denies possessing and using cocaine, methadone and morphine.

Katherine Jenkins
Katherine Jenkins is charged with possessing cocaine
Katherine Jenkins, 29, from South Wales, an Emirates airline stewardess, from Neath, south Wales, denies possessing cocaine.

Australian defendant, Heidi Dabour also denies the charges of cocaine possession and use against her.

The fifth Briton, Daniel Maalouf, 28, a Londoner of Lebanese origin, admits using hashish but denies possessing and selling hashish and cocaine.

Lebanese national Abdul Hamid Dandashi, 25, also denies charges of using drugs.

Three judges - an Egyptian and two Saudis - will preside over the case.

The trial is expected to continue for several weeks.

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