Nathaniel Lees, called Nathan, is currently detained at the Abu Dhabi Central Prison after he was caught selling less than an ounce of cannabis.
Although dozens of people have received capital sentences for drug violations in Abu Dhabi, none have faced a firing squad. Lees is currently set to be the first.
Since local laws required that his identity be kept secret, it was only recently revealed that Nathan is the son of a British businessman based in Abu Dhabi. Martin Lees is the director of GTS Training Solutions, which provides training for oil and gas company staff. Prior to this, Martin worked for the Saudi Yanbu Petrochemical Company and was based in Jeddah, where Lees was born.
Nathan was caught alongside his Syrian accomplice, aged 19. They were caught selling marijuana to a detective pretending to be a customer. Nathan is also being accused of selling heroin and opium, which is the reason behind his unexpected sentence, but no evidence of this has so far been presented in court.
His records, however, are not to his favor. His file shows that he seems to have held no actual job and did not go to college. He was also charged for the possession of drugs in the past, and have made certain references to drugs in his social network profile on Myspace.
After the verdict, Nathan’s mother Abeba Gebebramlak collapsed outside the Abu Dhabi Criminal Court.