x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

American convicted of Sharjah murder asks for new lawyer

Shahid King Bolsen, an American convicted of killing a German engineer in 2006, has asked for more time to appoint a new lawyer for his appeal.

SHARJAH // Shahid King Bolsen, an American convicted of killing a German engineer in 2006, asked the appeals court today for more time to appoint a new lawyer, saying the one he was assigned never discussed the case with him. "I don't know how it works here, sir, but how can a lawyer submit a defence for someone he had never talked to?" he asked the court. Presiding Judge Yaqoub al Naqbi granted Mr Bolsen 34 days to appoint a new lawyer and prepare his defence. The next hearing in the case will be on June 16. The judge also asked Mr Bolsen whether he could afford his own lawyer. After discussions, he was granted an allowance to make three calls - to his family in the US, the US embassy and his former lawyer, Nashwa al Qubaisi. Mr Bolsen said he was more comfortable with Ms al Qubaisi handling his case. She said today that she was still willing to be Mr Bolsen's lawyer, but that the Ministry of Justice would need to approve the change. "It was not our decision to stop representing him in court, it was a ministerial decision. We just got a call telling us a new lawyer had been appointed for him," she said. Bolsen had earlier pleaded guilty in his first trial, but claimed the death of Martin Steiner, an engineer living in Dubai, was an accident. After realising Steiner was dead, Bolsen strapped his body inside a suitcase and attempted to flee the country. On the night of his attempted escape through the UAE-Oman border, Bolsen changed his mind and buried the suitcase along the Dubai-Hatta Road. He was sentenced to death by the Sharjah Criminal Court of First Instance on October 23, 2007. In recent months he also escaped from prison briefly, evading guards for an hour before being caught.

ykakande@thenational.ae