Man who strangled co-worker over Dh600 must see out jail term

Indian was found guilty of premeditated murder after he became a suspect when his company car passed through a Salik gate away from its normal route.

DUBAI // A man who strangled his co-worker to death over a Dh600 debt and was caught when the company car he was driving was found to have passed a Salik gate outside its normal work route will have to see out his 15-year sentence.

Dubai Court of Appeal upheld the conviction and sentence issued by the criminal court against Indian K F, 31, who was found guilty of premeditated murder.

He killed his compatriot Jeyaraman Kronaniti by punching him several times on the head then strangling him to death and dumping his body in a deserted area on the Dubai-Al Ain Road on October 12, 2013. He denied the charge in both courts.

Emirati policeman K A, 27, testified that the partly decomposed body of the 40-year-old was found several days after his death.

“His ID card was on him, which helped us know who he was and where he worked, so we started investigating with his colleagues, who said that they were looking for him,” said the officer.

Investigations revealed that all the company’s workers used public transport to and from work, except for the defendant, who was driving a company car.

“We checked the car’s trips and found that it has a special daily route but, on October 12 it had taken a different route and passed under a Salik gate that it doesn’t usually take, so we suspected that he might be involved in the murder somehow,” said K A.

The defendant was taken into custody and interrogated. He denied any knowledge of Kronaniti’s death, saying on that day the victim had asked him for a lift to Al Ain but he only took him as far as Dubai Outlet Mall.

Police lieutenant H H said: “Soon, he confessed to killing the man after the two had a fight. He said that, on the way, the deceased asked him to stop on the side of the road because he needed to relieve himself.

“The defendant stopped near some trees and, as the victim stood a bit away, he started asking him about a Dh600 he had once lent him. The victim got furious and assaulted K F, who in return assaulted the man back and sat on his chest then strangled him. When he found him dead, he dragged his body and threw it among some trees then left.”

The lieutenant added that the accused threw away some food and sweets the victim had with him, then slept in the car overnight before going to the room he rented the following morning.

The victim’s mobile phone was found in K F’s room, records showed.

Prosecutors said that the accused confessed to killing his countryman and that he only strangled him for less than 30 seconds while repeating the words “you’re a thief”.

K F will be deported after serving his jail term.