ABU DHABI // A murderer described by his lawyer as "the most stupid I have seen in 40 years" faces a long wait before being sentenced, because authorities are struggling to find the relatives of the woman he killed.
The murderer, a cook from India who worked for a top government official, bludgeoned his girlfriend - the neighbour's maid - to death with a stone in 2010 after she told him she was pregnant by him and threatened to accuse him of rape.
Believing her claims, despite never having had sex with the woman, the cook put her lifeless body in a bathtub and filled it with water before burning the villa down to try to hide the evidence.
But the effort proved unsuccessful. The villa was left in ashes but the bathtub survived, as did the maid's body, preserved beneath the water.
The cook's lawyer, who said his client was the "most stupid murderer I have seen in 40 years", had argued that the attack could not be considered premeditated as it took place in a matter of seconds after the man was provoked.
The cook was arrested after asking his employer to help him flee the country.
His employer reported him to police but offered to pay his legal expenses and blood money, if it was demanded by the maid's family.
By law, the court cannot sentence the man before asking the family whether they want the death penalty or will accept blood money.
But authorities have as yet been unable to contact the maid's family. The case was adjourned with no date specified for the next hearing.