ABU DHABI // Three Emirati brothers convicted of murdering two Omanis as part of a blood feud were today sentenced to death.
A fourth brother who was charged with them was cleared by the Criminal Court, as were two cousins charged with hiding the brothers.
The judge, Idris bin Mansour, stressed the verdict would be scrutinised by both the Appeals and Cassation Courts.
Both must uphold the sentence, even if the defendants do not request an appeal.
The three brothers were also sentenced to six months for possessing weapons, and one received a further three months for indecent exposure, a year for possessing psychotropic pills and a fine of Dh500 for reckless driving.
The trio killed the Omanis M, 31, and O, 43, on May 4 last year after a car chase. The car the Omanis were in crashed in Al Jimmi, Al Ain, after which the Emiratis shot them dead.
The murder was revenge for the death of a fifth Emirati brother, 19, who was killed in Oman by the brother of one of the men.
The teenager was tricked into driving to Oman by two men who introduced him to a wise man, who gave him a drink they claimed had restorative powers. He died after drinking it and the two men, aged 35 and 58, stole his car and sold it.
Omani authorities arrested the two men and put them on trial.
They claimed to be friends with the teenager and said they had invited him to Al Bureimi to taste a drink thought to “bring luck”.
Their lawyers argued there was no proof of criminal intent because it was unclear if the teenager died because of the drink or because he had been strangled.
Tests in Oman suggested the drink caused his death. Wounds were found on his neck but forensic examiners were unsure how these were caused, saying the period between his death and their investigation – a week – was too long. The Omani court said it could not be sure of the events and sentenced the two men to life in prison rather than death. It also ordered them to pay blood money.
The teenager’s father appealed but this was turned down.
When the body was returned to the UAE, his family demanded further tests. These found the teenager had been drugged and then choked either by hands or a rope.
The Omani courts asked a third GCC country to conduct tests. These backed up the UAE findings but because the Omani court remained unconvinced about the cause of death it refrained from issuing a death sentence.
This drove the teenager’s family to seek their own vengeance.