Wednesday, February 20, 2008

No more Grooverider for four years

It has to be said that sometimes you can't beat a bit of drum n' bass or jungle. You have to be in the mood for it of course, and I can remember many a happy time at Metalheadz listening to it, or being buried deep in the dungeons of London Bridge at Raindance whilst the bass made my ears bleed. What started as a very underground venture was eventually taken mainstream by the likes of Fabio and Grooverider, but the news today is that no one will be seeing the latter spin the Technics for a while.

Grooverider has, unfortunately, been jailed for four years in Dubai for possession of pot. Not a nice place to be sent down I can imagine. Whatever one's view on prison there are some places in the world where the experience will, if you're not strong enough, break you beyond all recognition of self. See Midnight Express for example. However, at the same time if you're going to carry controlled substances across international borders, and especially into the Middle East you can hardly expect the treatment to not be harsh.

Apparently, Grooverider's lawyers tried to argue that he was just ignorant of the law in Dubai and should be offered a pardon. If I knew my brief was going to argue that to try and get me off I would be just telling the Judge to sentence me and get it over with. Ignorance is no defence after all. It's a shame Grooverider was sent down for so long for possessin of so little, but those are, as I say, the risks you take when you cross borders. I can't believe that he didn't know that Dubai might be a little harsher than your average Western country though.

6 comments:

dubaijim said...

Dizzy - to put this into context as well, check this - http://archive.gulfnews.com/nation/Police_and_The_Courts/10191172.html

Reckless driving lands 22-year old in jail

Dubai: The Traffic Court on Wednesday sentenced a motorist, who ran his vehicle over and killed a policeman in airport tunnel, to six months in jail.

The 22-year-old Emirati driver has also been ordered to pay Dh200,000 as blood money and his licence has been revoked for a year.

The Traffic Public Prosecution charged the Emirati with speeding, driving recklessly and accidentally killing a traffic policeman who was examining an accident in the airport tunnel.

So basically if you are a foreigner carrying trace quantities of hash (not that I advocate any drug use, btw), you get 4 years (see the case of the man who had trodden on a spliff and got sent down for 4 years, and all he was doing was transiting via Dubai).

But kill a cop while excessively speeding? meh, pay blood money for the death and carry on as normal.....

This is life in modern Dubai, and those of us who find ourselves exiled here have to tread carefully, even if we are generating their globally ridiculous GDP

Anonymous said...

why can`t we have a judge like that over here?

Croydonian said...

Not sure if he was charged for the possession of porn DVDs found in his luggage at the time he was stopped.

machiavelli said...

The problem of drum n bass is that it requires no skill to mix - it's all such a cacophany of noise that you don't even need to be able to beatmatch.

Still, 4 years is a bit harsh for being a drum n bass producer. What did he get for the dope?

Neil said...

Dubai immigration does random urine tests for certain substances. They will throw you in jail for carrying prescriptions drugs.Who the hell would want to visit that dump, let alone live there. The join is run by bunch of sad Wahhabi fascists living in the dark ages.

Ingram said...

He should have been locked up for his clanging mixing 15 years ago... Seriously - this is a shame, he has been one of the best in the production / promotion of a massively underrated music scene. As for machiavelli, I think you'll find that's house music you're referring to :)