17 accused of murder 'all have same name'

A witness in an Abu Dhabi case involving 17 men accused of beating a man to death says he cannot name the killer because they all have similar names.

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ABU DHABI // A policeman could not tell which of 17 men accused of beating a man to death dealt the fatal blow because they all share the same name.

The brawl, more than two months ago, broke out over a bootlegging dispute, the Criminal Court heard.

"All their names are similar, they are all Singh," First Lt Khalid Taha told the court yesterday.

All of the accused - 16 Indians and one Pakistani - denied beating the victim, a Pakistani, to death with bricks and canes.

No details of the case beyond the charges were discussed in court.

The court adjourned the case until April 29, while the dead man's relatives are asked if they will seek vengeance or blood money.

Some of the men previously told the court that confessions had been extracted under pressure.

Some admitted to related charges, such as the illegal consumption of alcohol, residency violations and bootlegging.

The case is unrelated to a similar case in Sharjah, which features the same number of defendants.