Hostage taker seeks early release

A burglar who has spent 15 years in prison is seeking early release based on good behaviour.

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DUBAI // A burglar who threatened at knifepoint to kill two women and their children is seeking early release 15 years into his life sentence.

The Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance today received reports from the central jail stating that AS, now in his 40s, has shown good behaviour and commitment to change during his time in jail. The jail also said he had memorised parts of the Quran and is respected by other inmates.

Judge Hamad Abdul Latif said he would issue the court's response on April 23.

AS was handed the life sentence - which is usually 25 years - after being convicted of burglary, kidnap and threatening to kill during a break in that occurred on July 1, 1997.

Dressed in a mask and holding a knife he knocked on the door of his Indian compatriot TS in the Bur Dubai area.

LK, a housewife, answered.

"He pushed the door and entered while saying he would kill me, my sister and our kids," the housewife told prosecutors.

Frightened for her five children, the housewife gave the burglar all the money she had - Dh2,300. The burglar then locked her, her sister and her children in the bathroom, but took her 7-year-old son hostage and demanded a ransom of Dh1 million.

The boy told prosecutors that the masked man taped his mouth then shoved him inside a luggage bag and into the car's boot.

"He took me out and allowed me to lay down on the car's back seat then had me call my father," the boy told the prosecution.

His father, who was at his shop at the time, said he would pay Dh500,000 and agreed to meet the burglar opposite Sharjah Airport. Police were notified and arrested the burglar red handed.

He confessed in court and was sentenced to a life sentence to be followed by deportation at the Dubai Court of First Instance. The verdict was upheld by the appeal and cassation courts.