x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Accused courtroom killer can pay blood money

Relatives of his alleged victims waive their right to execution.

ABU DHABI // A man who killed a witness in court and another in his bed can pay blood money to avoid the death sentence, the victims' blood relatives said.

A man representing the relatives told the Abu Dhabi Court of Appeal yesterday that they were requesting blood money, which means they give up their right to vengeance by execution.

In a previous hearing, the Egyptian accused, BAM, said he was taking revenge against infidels who were killing Muslims all around the world.

Both of his alleged victims were Nepalese. One, LK, had filed a lawsuit against BAM in Al Dhafra for causing a permanent injury to his eye during a fight.

BAM was free on bail when he murdered LK in his room, then took the same knife and killed the other man, who was testifying on behalf of LK, in the courtroom, records show.

BAM was sentenced to psychiatric treatment.

Public prosecution referred the verdict to the Court of Cassation, arguing that BAM was clearly aware of his actions because he planned his attacks. BAM's claim that he killed them because they were infidels does not make sense because he specifically chose people with whom he was involved in a lawsuit to murder, they said.

The Court of Cassation returned the case to the Court of Appeal.

"You should take your right by law, and not go around killing people," the appeals judge told BAM in court yesterday.

"But it was the law that imprisoned me... because of their complaints," BAM replied. "I'm an Arab Muslim and in an Arab Muslim country, those infidels are killing Muslims all around the world."

The judge explained that he was not concerned with what happened in other countries, and that justice must be served.

He said it was never part of Islamic law, even in an Islamic state, to randomly kill people because of their beliefs or to take revenge.

The verdict will be announced on January 25.

hdajani@thenational.ae