DUBAI // The execution of the man who raped and killed a four-year-old boy in the bathroom of a mosque during Eid al Adha in 2009 is expected today, a senior prison official told The National yesterday.
“Up until this moment, the execution is scheduled for tomorrow,” the official said yesterday afternoon. He said the exact hour and place of execution had not yet been determined. Rashid Rabee al Rashidi, 30, a boat captain, will be executed by firing squad, he said.
The family of the victim, Moosa Mukhtiar Ahmed, have been told the execution will take place today but will not be allowed to witness it, the official said.
They will be called after the sentence has been carried out and forensics experts had examined the body to confirm al Rashidi’s death. They will then be allowed to view the body, he said.
“Moosa’s mother and I want to see him die,” Moosa’s father, Mukhtiar Ahmed Khudabaksh, 32, said yesterday. “We will be relieved when we see him executed for what he did to our child.”
Mr Khudabaksh, who has worked for the Dubai Police as a tailor since last September, said: “Once I hear the gunfire, I will kneel on the ground and bow to God twice in prayer.”
“I want to see him die with my own eyes,” Moosa’s mother said. The killer should be executed in public as a lesson to other criminals, she said, and the family will go early to the prison today and ask to be allowed in.
Moosa’s uncles Ahmed Mohammed and Sultan Mukhtiar also said they wanted to see their nephew’s killer executed, and hoped authorities would permit them to do so.
Al Rashidi’s lawyer, Abdul Rahman al Mudharreb, had been officially informed of the execution but directed not to make the news public, prosecution sources said.
According to execution procedures, the families of convicts on death row can visit them during their imprisonment and on the day of execution, but they are not allowed to witness the execution itself.
The victim’s families, however, may be allowed to witness it.
Representatives from the prosecution, Dubai Police, the director of the correctional facility and a physician must be present when the sentence is carried out. The death warrant must be read aloud by the director of the correctional establishment or one of his nominees.
A prosecution representative will document any last words said by the convict, and the time of death.
The firing squad consists of nine men, who go to an undisclosed location. At least one is given a rifle loaded with a blank cartridge, so none of them knows who fired the fatal shot.
Moosa was raped and murdered on November 27, 2009, the first day of Eid al Adha. He left the family’s house in Al Qusais 3 in the morning with some friends and relatives, and al Rashidi lured him into the bathroom of a Dubai mosque, promising him an Eid gift.
Once inside, he silenced the boy by covering his mouth, then raped him. He banged the boy’s head against a wall, then fled, leaving the child for dead.
He was arrested soon afterwards, when his fingerprints were found to match those from the crime scene.
Al Rashidi had a criminal record, which included molesting an eight-year-old boy, for which he served a prison sentence.
When he killed Moosa he had been recently released from prison on separate sex assault charges. The Dubai Court of Cassation confirmed the death sentence last year, after which the death warrant had been awaiting the approval of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
The last known execution in Dubai is believed to have been carried out before 1986. More than 24 convicts sentenced to die are still waiting for death warrants to be approved by the Ruler.
The last execution carried out in the UAE was that of A H, a 36-year-old Emirati killed by firing squad in February 2008 in Ras al Khaimah, for murdering two men.