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Retrial for man who fled after wife's murder

A teacher arrested at Bahrain International Airport in 2009 as he ran from murder charges has been granted a retrial.

ABU DHABI // A teacher arrested at Bahrain International Airport in 2009 as he ran from murder charges has been granted a retrial because the fingerprints collected from the murder weapon did not belong to him and the verdict was not unanimous.

AMA, an Egyptian, was sentenced to death in late 2009 by Al Dhafra Court of First Instance for fatally stabbing his Syrian wife several times in her stomach and neck.

The Abu Dhabi Court of Appeal upheld the sentence, and both his defence lawyer and prosecutors appealed to the Court of Cassation on grounds that the verdict was not issued unanimously. A unanimous decision is required for issuing a death sentence; otherwise the sentence is reduced to life in prison.

AMA's lawyer, Faiza Moussa, argued that the fingerprints collected from the knife used in the murder did not belong to him, but to an unidentified person. Mrs Moussa told the court the police should have checked them against those of the victim's friends and family.

Mrs Moussa also told the court the man did not sign confessions to police or prosecutors. Although he was a university graduate, she said, he fingerprinted the documents instead. She suggested he confessed under duress. The Court of Cassation accepted the lawyer's arguments and yesterday ordered a retrial under a new panel.

The man was arrested in May 2009 at Bahrain International Airport, less than an hour after his wife's body was found in Madinat Zayed in Al Gharbia.

Her brother, who had arrived the day before from Switzerland and stayed with them, reported the crime.

Prosecutors said the man killed his wife at 6am, took her car to Bani Yas, then hailed a taxi to Abu Dhabi International Airport.

He flew to Bahrain, where he was scheduled to board a flight to Sudan. Upon landing in Bahrain, he was arrested by Interpol. The brother told police that there had been "rows" between the couple.

hhassan@thenational.ae

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