Hijab strangler gets death sentence

Man assaulted maid, then killed her with her own garment, court rules.

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DUBAI // A sailor was sentenced to death this morning for sexually assaulting and strangling a maid with her hijab in his car, then disposing of the body in a public car park.

Prosecutors said AS, 25, an Indian who was working with an Emirati family, confessed to picking up the victim, who worked for the same Emirati family as he,

to take her for her medical check up.

He said that en route, he touched her provocatively and she did not resist, so he took her to a secluded area in the Port Saeed district and continued to touch her.

“He said she started bleeding and screaming, and he claimed to have begged her to forgive him. He claimed that she said that she will tell her sponsor,” a police officer testified.

AS then drove the victim to Al Hamriya district and continued to try to convince her to let it go, but to no avail.

“He said that he held her hijab and choked her with it until she died, and then he dropped her body in the back seat of his car and went to a sandy car park and dumped the body there,” the officer told prosecutors.

AS denied the charges in the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance in January 2010. But prosecutors said he confessed to the crime when he was interrogated by investigators 10 days after the maid disappeared.

Her body was found in a car park in Al Muteena district in Deira, on June 14, 2009, by a Moroccan resident who lives nearby.

The man, identified in records as AD, 37, told prosecutors that at first, he thought she was drunk and passed out, but when he returned later and saw her in the same position, he called a security guard, who discovered she was dead.

A police officer testified that during the investigation, the woman’s picture was released in newspapers to help identify her.

“We investigated for 10 days, and then finally we published her picture to get any leads,” said the officer.

Her Emirati sponsor then contacted police, telling them the woman was his maid, who the family thought had absconded.

When he was interrogated, AS, according to prosecution records, initially said she had run away after he asked her to sit outside the Naif Health Clinic.

“He told us that he searched for her from the morning to 1pm,” the officer testified.

But examination of CCTV footage from cameras at the health clinic showed that neither AS nor the victim had been present that day, at which point officers confronted him.

“He confessed to sexually assaulting her then killing her,” the officer testified.