DUBAI // Nine Vietnamese men, who could have faced a firing squad for stabbing to death an Indian man in a brothel, were sentenced this morning to 10 years.
The men, the brothel's guards, assaulted a drunk customer after he refused to leave the prostitution den in the China block of International City.
The defendants were also convicted of stabbing a second man; they did not enter a plea at the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance when they first appeared in August last year.
Records show that three Indian men, all drivers, went to the brothel on November 20, 2009, after a drinking binge to have sex with Chinese prostitutes.
While two of the men were having sex, the third got into a fight with the prostitute and a guard was called in.
The man was pulled out by the guard and asked to leave, but his friends intervened and asked for the Dh50 they paid to be returned.
The guard then made a phone call, the victims testified, and eight other people came to the flat wielding cleavers and knives.
"The deceased refused to leave and we tried to explain to them that we did not want trouble in sign language, Urdu and English," one of the Indian men told to prosecutors.
"One of them jumped at me with a cleaver and was aiming for my head. He cut my palm while another hit my elbow. I bled profusely and passed out after being pulled out of the flat," the other said.
All nine of the guards stabbed the naked victim repeatedly, killing him. Prosecutors could not identify who struck the deadly blow, so all the defendants were charged with premeditated murder and assault.
Forensic evidence showed that the cause of death was a severed artery in his leg.
Presiding Judge El Saeed Bargouth ordered the apartment where the brothel was operated closed, and banned it from reopening.
The defendants were also sentenced to six months in prison each for running a brothel and will be deported after serving their prison terms.