DUBAI // An Egyptian charged with beating his disabled flatmate to death while intoxicated yesterday told a Dubai court that the man died of a heart attack. The accused, MA, is preparing to defend himself against charges of manslaughter and consuming alcohol in connection with the death, but yesterday appeared before the Dubai Court of Misdemeanors on a related minor charge of uttering abusive language.
MA made his first appearance before the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance on June 16, during which heard the more serious charges. Yesterday, he said: "Believe me, I did not kill him; he died from a heart attack." The presiding judge reminded the defendant that the Misdemeanors Court was not hearing the manslaughter charge, and instructed him to make his plea to the relevant court. In June, MA denied punching and kicking his bedridden flatmate and compatriot, identified as SM, and using abusive language against other flatmates.
Another of MA's flatmates, an Egyptian identified as MB, testified that the defendant left the flat at 1am on Jan 1 and came back about 4am "drunk and in a foul mood" and cursing at them before going to bed. MB said the victim was in bed watching television when MA woke up about 5am and started shouting. MB said at first he ignored MA because he knew he was drunk. MB then said he saw the defendant climb down from his bunk bed, which was above the victim's bed, pull him by his shirt collar and start to punch him in the chest and face. MB said he managed to pull MA off the victim with the help of another flatmate, a man identified as AM.
MB said the victim then asked for help in keeping MA away from him, at which point MA allegedly kicked the victim in the face. MB said he managed to restrain MA again with the help of two other flatmates and put him to bed. Later that morning, MB said he noticed the victim was wheezing heavily and appeared to be ailing. An ambulance was called, but the paramedics pronounced the victim dead when they arrived on the scene.
The manslaughter case has been adjourned until mid-August. @Email:firstname.lastname@example.org