DUBAI // A man sent to jail for life for aiding and abetting the rape and murder of a seven-year-old girl 16 years ago will not be released early, the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance ruled yesterday.
Rahman Khan, 43, was convicted in 1996 for helping his brother-in-law after he raped and murdered the Emirati child on June 25, 1995.
The court sentenced the Indian to life in jail while it ordered the execution by firing squad of his 40-year-old brother-in-law, Dubai Military Command Guard Khalid Al Mousaji, in October 1996.
Judge Hamad Abdel Latif Abdel Jawad yesterday denied Khan's petition, filed on December 19, saying the crime was too gruesome to allow parole.
Khan has been in prison for more than 15 years and to complete a life term he has to serve 25 years.
When Khan appeared before the judge, he said he was remorseful.
"Having been jailed since 1995, I have learnt a lot," he was said, according to court records.
He told the judge he had become a new person.
"I am lodging this petition seeking forgiveness by the court to approve my release. I want to go back home and see my sick mother," records cite him as saying.
The petition, according to court, was based on federal penal procedures law Article 45 of the UAE Federal Law No 43 of 1992.
The article stipulates that a prisoner who has completed 15 years of a life sentence with good behaviour is entitled to be released if the court accepts his petition.
Along with his petition, Khan presented a certificate of good behaviour as well as a release recommendation from the Dubai Central Jail's administration.
Under the law, the petition must be filed through the Public Prosecutor's office, which is responsible for releasing prisoners. But the court has ultimate authority.
"A prosecutor, however, has no right of issuing the release order for convicts still serving sentences or have not paid their dues in financial cases," said Ashraf Kachan, a Dubai based advocate. "The Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance is the body that decides on whether to approve or reject the petitioner's request for a release, and their verdict is final and not appealable."
Mr Kachan said he had never seen a petition successfully filed.
The public prosecution asked the court during Khan's hearing to dismiss his request, citing the brutality and gruesomeness of the crime, hearing records show.
Case records from 1996 show that Al Mousaji was arrested in Pakistan along with Khan after police discovered the little girl's decomposed body in a rubbish bin at Al Ghusais on June 28. She had been dumped there on June 25.
Information led police to Al Mousaji in Pakistan, and he was arrested and brought back to the UAE with Khan.
Testimony from a colleague of Al Mousaji showed that he went absent without leave three days after the murder.
Khan was accused and convicted of helping Al Mousaji dispose of the body for a payment of Dh100, as well as fleeing the country after a crime.
Al Mousaji was executed on the morning of October 15, 1996.