Death penalty upheld by Abu Dhabi court for maid who killed employer’s baby

The defendant, found guilty at a hearing on December 31, has been sentenced to death.

ABU DHABI // A maid given the death penalty for killing her employer’s four-month-old baby has had her sentence upheld by the second Appeals Court to look at her case.

S T, from Indonesia, was convicted of killing the girl by smashing her head against a wooden table.

The Appeals Court announced that it was cancelling the Criminal Court’s verdict of the death sentence because it was invalid because S T’s defence was not serious enough.

Defendants facing life in jail or the death penalty are entitled to a lawyer appointed by the court. The court is then responsible for monitoring the appointed lawyer’s performance to see if they attend hearings, follow the case and present a “serious defence”.

The Appeals Court said that the lawyer representing S T in the Criminal Court of First Instance was not serious in presenting the defence and therefore the death verdict was invalid.

But this was later annulled by the Court of Cassation and the case was bounced back to the Appeals Court yet again.

The second Appeals Court found S T guilty and since the baby’s family insisted on the death penalty, it again sentenced her to death.

The verdict is to be carried out in the presence of the child’s family and in a method chosen by the President of the UAE.

S T was filmed on CCTV taking the infant from her crib. She then took her to a room that had no cameras and smashed the girl’s head against a wooden table, returning her to the crib four minutes later.

S T’s defence previously argued that there was no proof that S T was the one who killed the child. Her colleague, the baby’s nanny, testified against her saying S T waited for her to use the bathroom to take the baby out of the crib. She added that S T was always jealous of her and did this to get her into trouble.

In a previous hearing, the court had asked the baby’s mother to receive a letter sent by S T’s parents. She refused to see it, saying she insisted on the death penalty.

hdajani@thenational.ae

Published: December 31, 2014 04:00 AM

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