Maximum penalty call for killer of Winter

Public prosecutors have appealed, asking for the death penalty under Sharia law, for murder accused found guilty but sentenced to 15 years in jail.

DUBAI // A lawyer for the family of murder victim Kerry Winter yesterday reiterated a call for the defendant to be given "al Qasas", the maximum penalty under Sharia law, during closing arguments. MA, 42, from Britain, was found guilty of premeditated murder by the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance on June 7 and sentenced to 15 years in jail. Public prosecutors have appealed, asking for the death penalty. However, Hussein al Jaziri, a legal representative for Ms Winter's blood guardians, asked the Dubai Court of Appeal for "al Qasas" which for a charge of premeditated murder would result in the death penalty, but allow the family to ask for whatever sentence is given to be reduced. It could lead to an increase in blood money payments.

Mr al Jaziri said while no body has been found, all evidence and testimony unequivocally proves MA's guilt.  Ms Winter, who was 36 when she disappeared, was last seen on August 20, 2008 outside her villa in Al Barsha. No body was found. Her neighbours told prosecutors they saw MA beat her with a baseball bat before dragging her body to a car and driving away. He was arrested five days later and charged with premeditated murder.

MA's lawyers asked the appeal court to present two witnesses who failed to appear before the lower court. The witnesses, MA and AK, both worked for the killer and were key to the prosecution's case. The court will reconvene next month when the witnesses will be presented.