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Appeals court close to verdict of Moosa's killer

The convicted killer's lawyer disputes the prosecutions findings, claiming it had not specified the exact cause of Moosa's death.

DUBAI // A four-year-old boy assaulted and murdered in a mosque at the start of Eid al Adha died from head trauma sustained when his head was beaten repeatedly against the floor, an appeals court heard today. Dr Ashraf Ibrahim, of the Dubai Police forensic department, said this led to a blood clot and brain swelling which ultimately killed young Moosa Mukhtiar Ahmed. It was the first time a court has heard the exact cause of death in the case outlined by a medical examiner. Moosa's convicted killer, Rashid al Rashidi, an Emirati fishing boat captain, was sentenced to death by firing squad on January 27 by the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance. Capital punishment verdicts automatically go to appeal. Al Rashidi's lawyer, Abdel Rahman Midrib, had disputed Dr Ibrahim's findings, claiming that his report had not specified the exact cause of Moosa's death. Mr Midrib had also said the forensic report was unclear as to whether his client had raped the boy - a claim made by the prosecution. Dr Ibrahim said today that although the investigation had found proof of sexual assault, in his opinion there was no evidence of rape having been committed. The court adjourned the appeal hearing to next Sunday, when closing arguments are expected to be heard. If the appeals judges uphold the decision of the lower court, 30-year-old al Rashidi will be executed after serving six months behind bars for consuming alcohol on the night of the murder.

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