ABU DHABI // A mother convicted of negligence that led to the fatal fall of her three-year-old child from a 13th-floor window was among 391 prisoners released this week after a presidential pardon.
However, her case is before the Abu Dhabi Court of Appeals and the appeals judge has insisted that she and her co-accused should attend the rest of the hearings.
The judges will proceed with the case and will issue a verdict despite the pardon, meaning she can be still sentenced to prison, but will be released immediately.
The mother, DS, an Emirati who worked for the UAE Armed Forces, was sentenced by Abu Dhabi Criminal Court of First Instance last April to two years in prison for having sex outside of wedlock, and to two months for negligence leading to the boy's death.
The son, identified as AT, died after falling from an apartment in Khalidiya at about 1am on January 20 last year. The mother had left the child with her Indonesian maid, NT, who was also sentenced to one month in prison for negligence.
Relatives at the house told The National the mother had gone to a pharmacy to buy medicine for her ill son. But prosecutors said she was meeting her lover, an Emirati man identified as TA, who worked for the Ministry of Interior. The criminal court found the man guilty of sex outside of wedlock and sentenced him to two years.
The mother, who has been held in Al Wathba prison since February last year, told the Court of Cassation in July she was planning to marry the man and asked for acquittal on the sex charges.
The Court of Cassation ordered a retrial, and all three defendants were due back in the Abu Dhabi Court of Appeals. Their lawyer told the appeals court the mother and the man were released this week after a pardon by Sheikh Khalifa, the President of the UAE. The Indonesian maid has already been deported.