A UAE court has overturned an Israeli woman’s death sentence for possessing half a kilo of cocaine.
Fidaa Kiwan, 43, was arrested on 17th March 2021 for trafficking drugs into the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Kiwan- from Haifa – had always maintained her innocence despite a huge amount of cocaine being found in her Dubai apartment.
She was seized shortly after arriving in the UAE to work for a Palestinian acquaintance.
After being sentenced to death in April, Kiwan said: “I never thought in my entire life I would receive a death sentence. I don’t think it will happen. This is a modern country.”
On 28th June, the Abu Dhabi Federal Appeal Court overturned the execution and ruled that Kiwan will receive a jail term instead.
The duration of her sentence has yet to be announced, but it is expected to be life.
Kiwan’s defence lawyers Tami Ullman and Shadi Saruji called the change of heart “a humane decision and a right one”.
Kiwan was convicted of accepting a monthly payment of NIS 47,000 (GBP 11,109) from a man identified as Yassin Ibrahim Nagiar for selling drugs in the UAE.
After she arrived in the country, an undercover cop arranged to meet her in a car and paid cash for an illegal substance, according to court documents.
However, her brother has claimed that the authorities in the UAE, known for its strict anti-drug laws, beat his sister into making a confession.
Following the ‘Abraham Accords’ brokered by Donald Trump’s administration, ties between Israel and UAE have improved since 2020 and Dubai has become a popular destination for Israeli tourists.