SHARJAH // An Emirati footballer who played for the national team was yesterday sentenced to a year in jail for murder after new fingerprint evidence emerged.
The Sharjah Court of Appeals sentenced F J, a former national side and Sharjah Football Club player, to one year in prison, including time served, and Dh10,000 in fines.
F J and eight other defendants appeared before the Sharjah Criminal Court of First Instance early last year, charged with killing or witnessing the killing of J Y J during a fight in the Al Rifaa area. F J and two others were sentenced to death during those proceedings, but F J was later acquitted by the Sharjah Court of Appeals on grounds of lack of evidence.
Lawyers for the victim's family appealed the case to the Federal Supreme Court, claiming that Sharjah Police suppressed evidence. F J was arrested again.
"The forensic report does not mention any metal piece nor the fingerprints collected from it," the Supreme Court Chief Justice Falah al Hajeri said in a court document, in reference to the murder weapon.
The evidence was significant because prosecutors had alleged that the instrument was used by F J, and that the victim was struck by the instrument on the left side of his face, the chief justice said. "The metal piece was hidden despite the fact it carried fingerprints. This misguided measure during the hearings had an impact [on the outcome] and hid the truth from the court, which makes the previous verdict invalid," the chief justice ruled in June.
According to court records, Al Heera police examined the Al Rifaa crime scene on May 18, 2008. The fight took place in a sandy area, and police gathered a number of shoes from the scene, as well as a piece of metal, and retrieved fingerprints from it.