x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Abu Dhabi death-row man questions officer's account, appeals court hears

Man sentenced to death for murdering his wife after 65 days of marriage questions the account of the CID officer who investigated him.

ABU DHABI // A man sentenced to death for murdering his wife after 65 days of marriage told the Appeals Court that the testimony of the CID officer who investigated him could not be relied on.

The Egyptian AJM was convicted of stabbing to death his Syrian wife, who was found in a pool of blood at their home in Al Gharbia in 2009 by her visiting brother. The brother alerted police and the husband was arrested 48 hours later in Bahrain.

The husband told the court yesterday that he was a respectable lecturer at HCT and the only reason he left the country was because his visa had expired. He said he did not want to reside in the country illegally while his new employer finalised his new residency papers.

He asked the CID major why he had not investigated the relationship between his wife and the Emirati owner of the house where they were living.

"Does it make sense that there were so many phone calls between them when they lived so close?" he asked, adding that the owner of the house was a junior CID officer who worked with the major.

He said five keys to his late wife's bedroom were found in the owner's possession, along with a bag filled with her jewellery. "Why were they there?" he asked.

He added that the original police report described the murder weapon - 42cm kitchen knife - completely differently to a subsequent report by the same policeman. He said police had not entertained the possibility that a different weapon was used to carry out the murder.

"What about the other five weapons that were collected by police from the house, why weren't they investigated?"

The CID major replied that he focused his investigation on the husband because he went missing after the crime was reported. He said that the husband also confessed to the murder upon his arrest.

"Our investigations showed that there were problems between him and his wife because he wanted to abort a baby she was carrying," added the major.

The husband insisted this was a rumour spread by his wife's sister and brother-in-law.

"When her brother called her from Switzerland to inquire about the problems, I heard her tell him 'everything is fine between me and my husband, there is no need for you to come'," said the husband.

He added that his wife's brother had injuries on his body and blood residue that he hadn't explained. He asked why the brother had not been investigated.

"I wish you could bring him here to face me," said the man. "He is the main witness who accused me and he is not even in the country."

The case was adjourned to November 15.

hdajani@thenational.ae