DUBAI // A burglar who took a young boy hostage and demanded a Dh1 million ransom was granted freedom today, 15 years into his life sentence.
The Dubai Criminal Court based its decision on reports from the central jail saying that AS, now in his 40s, had been well behaved and committed to reforming his character during his time inside.
The jail also said he had memorised parts of the Quran and was respected by other inmates.
The prisoner was sentenced to life imprisonment - which is usually 25 years - after being convicted of burglary, kidnap and threatening to kill during a break-in that occurred on July 1, 1997.
Dressed in a mask and holding a knife he knocked on the door of his Indian compatriot TS in the Bur Dubai area.
LK, a housewife, answered.
"He pushed the door and entered while saying he would kill me, my sister and our kids," the housewife told prosecutors.
Frightened for her five children, the housewife gave the burglar all the money she had - Dh2,300. The burglar then locked her, her sister and her children in the bathroom, but took her 7-year-old son hostage and demanded a ransom of Dh1 million.
The boy told prosecutors that the masked man taped his mouth then shoved him inside a luggage bag and into the car's boot.
"He took me out and allowed me to lay down on the car's back seat then had me call my father," the boy told the prosecution.
His father, who was at his shop at the time, said he would pay Dh500,000 and agreed to meet the burglar opposite Sharjah Airport. Police were notified and arrested the burglar red handed.
He confessed in court and was sentenced to a life sentence to be followed by deportation at the Dubai Criminal Court. The verdict was upheld by the appeal and cassation courts.