DUBAI // A man who bludgeoned his friend to death and then went on a spending spree with his credit card was sentenced to death yesterday. AH, who bought jewellery worth Dh7,000 for his Filipina girlfriend with the victim's credit card the day after the killing, was found guilty of premeditated murder. It is the fifth time this year that Dubai courts have imposed the death penalty.
In July last year, the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance heard that the 52-year-old defendant visited the victim at his flat in Al Baraha in March and got into an argument that ended with him hitting the man around the head with a bat. AH claimed that he went to the flat to have a chat, which turned ugly when the victim started insulting him and his family. He said the man slapped him in the face, which further enraged him. He then beat the man around the head with a bat, which he had found in the flat, and escaped.
The defendant was also convicted of theft after stealing the victim's car, mobile phone and wallet. AH's Filipina girlfriend, who was not identified, told prosecutors she was taken out to dinner and the cinema by the defendant the day after the incident. He also took her to a jewellery store and then spent more money on a mobile phone. Security camera footage presented to the court showed AH buying the items, apparently in an upbeat mood.
The victim's brother found his body in a pool of blood when he went his flat after being unable to reach him for three days. The defendant was arrested six days after the murder. The case will automatically be sent to the Dubai Court of Appeals, which will re-examine the case. Should it uphold the sentence, a final appeal will be lodged with the Dubai Court of Cassation, which will review the procedures of investigators, prosecutors and the lower courts before either upholding the verdict or ordering the case to be returned to a lower court for retrial.