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UAE sentences Israeli woman to death for possession of 500 grams of cocaine

April 5 (UPI) -- A court in the United Arab Emirates sentenced an Israeli woman who was convicted of cocaine possession to death Tuesday.

The woman, identified as 43-year-old photography studio owner Fidaa Kiwan, was arrested a week after arriving in Dubai for work about a year ago after police found 500 grams of cocaine in the apartment in which she was staying.

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She has denied that the drugs were hers, and her lawyer is expected to appeal the court's decision.

"The case is known and we are handling it through the consular service and our representatives in the Emirates," the Israeli Foreign Ministry said.

Officials with knowledge of the case told the Times of Israel they expect the sentence to be reduced to a long prison term following the appeal.

The United Arab Emirates is known for strict anti-drug laws but its death sentences are not often enforced and are instead often converted to lengthy prison sentences.

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