Pair appeal prostitute murder conviction at Abu Dhabi court

Two men, convicted of killing a prostitute, should be granted a retrial, their lawyer argued at the Cassation Court this week.

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ABU DHABI // Two men, convicted of killing a prostitute, should be granted a retrial, their lawyer argued at the Cassation Court this week.

The Criminal Court had sentenced the each of the defendants, M M and J S, from Bangladesh, to three years in prison and to pay her heirs Dh200,000 in blood money.

They appealed their verdict but the Appeals Court upheld the lower court’s verdict and the case went to the Cassation Court.

Their defence attorney, Ali Al Abbadi, argued that his clients had an invalid trial because the Criminal Court questioned them on August 31 about their charges without the presence of a lawyer. The court then set a date to announce the verdict on September 8, also without the presence of a defence attorney.

He explained that according to article 4 of the Federal Penal Code, every defendant facing charges that lead to a possible death sentence should not be questioned by the court before appointing them a defence attorney.

Mr Al Abbadi also cited a number of rulings issued by the Cassation Court that made it compulsory to appoint lawyers for such defendants before questioning them.

“This reason alone is enough to cassate the verdict, and there is no need to provide more elements of defence,” he added.

When the pair first appeared in front of the Criminal Court, they both confessed to having sex out of wedlock with the victim and killing her. They said she demanded money from them and threatened to call her “police friends” to claim they had raped her if they did not comply.

They panicked and one of them held her still as the other broke the vitamin c drink bottle on her head. Then then both tied her neck with a rope and choked her to death.

The second time they appeared at the criminal court however, they both denied their charges and claimed the victim them attacked them first.

hdajani@thenational.ae