Obaida’s killer was ‘completely drunk’ when he picked up child

The defendant faces charges of kidnapping a child, threats and physical abuse, rape and premeditated murder, drinking alcohol and driving under the influence of alcohol. He admitted in court to rape and murder charges but denied kidnapping.

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DUBAI // The man who admitted raping and killing eight-year-old Obaida Al Aqrabawi was “completely drunk” when he picked up the child in his car.

The Jordanian, 48, told prosecutors that the boy got into his car willingly and asked him for a scooter about 6pm on Friday, May 20, records at the Dubai Criminal Court show.

“He also asked me to take him to the sea so I drove to Al Mamzar because I’m used to going there,” he said, adding that he started drinking before picking up Obaida and had finished five bottles of Absolut Vodka by 5am the next day.

“I was completely drunk. I haven’t pre-planned anything, not the rape and not the murder.”

The unemployed defendant said he sexually assaulted the boy and attacked him at nearly 5am, after Obaida threatened to tell his father.

“I couldn’t feel myself and I can’t remember why or how I felt,” he said. “I was unaware of everything because of the alcohol. I knew that some day alcohol would cause me huge trouble.

“I just remember strangling him with my hand then using a cloth. I didn’t stop until he stopped moving.”

At 6.30am on the Saturday, the defendant said he took the child’s body from the back seat and placed it under a tree in Al Warqa, then drove to his brother’s house in the same area where continued drinking until 2pm.

He then drove to Ajman where he started drinking again. “But I didn’t go home. I remained in my car drinking until my brother called me on Sunday at nearly 1pm and asked me to go to his house, where I was arrested.”

Obaida was last seen on the evening of May 20 outside his father’s garage in Sharjah’s industrial area, where the family also lived.

Two days later, the Jordanian boy’s body was found on Academic City Road in Al Warqa, Dubai.

The defendant is charged with kidnapping a child, threats and physical abuse, rape and premeditated murder, drinking alcohol and driving under the influence of alcohol. He admitted in court to rape and murder charges but denied kidnapping.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. The next court hearing is scheduled for July 11.

On Monday the accused failed to appear in court, leading court officials to demand his appearance at the next hearing “by force, if necessary”.

His lawyer was also absent from court on Monday.

At the man’s first hearing, on June 20, he admitted strangling the boy after raping him but denied kidnapping Obaida.

salamir@thenational.ae