x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Brothers burnt driver to death, court told

The Criminal Court of First Instance heard evidence in the case of two Emirati brothers and a Russian friend who are accused of burning their Pakistani driver to death.

ABU DHABI // The Criminal Court of First Instance heard evidence in the case of two Emirati brothers and a Russian friend who are accused of burning their Pakistani driver to death. The Emiratis, OA and SA, both 19 years old, and their Russian friend, VB, are accused of first-degree murder, consumption of alcohol and stealing the Pakistani man's wallet.

The Pakistani worked as a driver for the two brothers and their family, according to the case being brought by Abu Dhabi Public Prosecution. The incident occurred five months ago, the court heard, when the three men allegedly had an altercation with the driver, hitting him over the head and knocking him unconscious. The prosecution alleged that the men then poured petrol over him, and set light to it in the compound where the brothers lived, in an apparent attempt to destroy any evidence of the crime.

Police submitted the remains and ashes of the driver to the coroner's office in April. The charges do not specify whether the men were acting under the influence of alcohol or had consumed alcohol before the incident. The next hearing in the case was postponed until October 5 in order for the families of the accused to attempt to resolve the case by offering blood money to the victim's family. Even if the family accepts a settlement, the accused could still receive a five-year sentence.

The men are being tried as adults and have been denied bail pending a verdict. The defendants' pleas, entered by the accused at a previous hearing, have not been made public. The Russian Embassy said it was aware of the case but declined to comment. myoussef@thenational.ae