Obaida’s killer makes first appeal court appearance

The Jordanian is not appealing his sentence, it is just standard procedure that any death sentence goes through the appeal court.

DUBAI // A man sentenced to death for the rape and murder of an eight-year-old boy has appeared in court for a first appeal hearing.

Jordanian Nidal Eisah Abdullah Abu Ali on Sunday again admitted to murder and drinking alcohol but denied kidnapping Obaida Al Aqrabawi from outside his Sharjah home in May and raping him.

Under UAE law, people sentenced to death are automatically referred to the Court of Appeal. Ali, 48, is not challenging the sentence.

He was sentenced to death on August 15 after being found guilty of kidnapping the boy before raping and killing him.

On Sunday, he appeared with a long, white beard, surrounded by four police guards.

The father of the victim was the only member of Obaida’s family present.

When confronted with the charges by appeal court presiding judge Eisah Mohammed Al Sharif, the killer confessed to murder. “Yes, I killed him and I did drink alcohol but I didn’t rape him nor did I kidnap him,” said the 48-year-old.

During the trial, the murderer claimed he suffered from a mental illness but the court found there was no evidence to support it.

Ali’s lawyer submitted an application to reduce the charge from premeditated murder to assault leading to death. That was dismissed because Ali had the “intention to murder” at the time.

When he was handed the death penalty at the criminal court, about 10 members of the victim’s family screamed “Allahu Akbar” and thanked the UAE and its legal system. The boy’s father said then he would visit his son’s grave and tell him justice had been served. “Thank you UAE, your just law gave us peace,” he said, adding that he is “always grateful to God”.

In court on Sunday, Obiad Al Mazmi, the lawyer representing Obaida’s family’s civil rights, submitted no requests and said they will be submitted once a lawyer has been assigned to defend the murderer.

Obaida was kidnapped on May 20 while playing outside his father’s garage in one of Sharjah’s industrial areas.

His body was found two days later in Academic City Road, Al Warqa, Dubai.

The next hearing will be on October 9.

salamir@thenational.ae

Published: September 25, 2016 04:00 AM

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