DUBAI // The lawyer defending the fishing boat captain convicted of killing four-year-old Moosa Mukhtiar Ahmed has asked that his client be given a new psychological examination. Abdel al Midrib yesterday told Dubai Court of Appeal that the initial evaluation of the state of mind of Rashid al Rashidi was not thorough enough, having only examined whether he was responsible for his actions.
Al Rashidi was convicted of sexually assaulting and murdering Moosa in the toilet of a mosque on the first day of Eid al Adha last year. He was sentenced to death on January 27 by the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance. Capital punishment verdicts automatically go to appeal. Mr al Midrib said a more comprehensive examination might uncover a mental disorder that could explain his behaviour. "The defendant must undergo a psychological examination to find out what made him carry out such an act," Mr al Midrib said after the hearing.
"What he did is not a normal behaviour and he must have some form of psychological illness, and by having him examined by a psychologist or sociologist we will be able to find out what exactly is his problem." If a psychological illness was proved, al Rashidi's death sentence could be overturned, he added. Mr al Midrib also told the court he wanted to question the forensic medical expert in the case, as the exact cause of Moosa's death was not detailed in his report.
The lawyer said his client now denies parts of the prosecution's version of the crime, which took place on November 27. "The defendant is insisting that he did not intend to murder the boy and that he did not hit the boy's head to the floor nor did he sit on the victim's back," said Mr al Midrib. The court has agreed to allow al Rashidi to re-submit his account of events. Unless the appeals court overturns the lower court's decision, al Rashidi will face a firing squad after serving six months behind bars for consuming alcohol before the murder.
The appeal hearing was adjourned until next Sunday. firstname.lastname@example.org