x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Businessman who murdered nephew jailed for 15 years

A Palestinian businessman convicted of killing his nephew who had allegedly raped his daughter was jailed yesterday for 15 years.

DUBAI // A Palestinian businessman convicted of killing his nephew who had allegedly raped his daughter was jailed yesterday for 15 years. TB, 47, was found guilty of murdering 23-year-old AB by hitting him on the back of the head with a metal rod, then strangling him with a rope and burying him in a gravel pit at his warehouse in Al Quoz Industrial Area.

The defendant could have become the fourth person this year to be sentenced to death in Dubai. But the judges at the Criminal Court of First Instance said they had shown leniency because of the circumstances of the crime and what they described as the "deviant character" of the victim. The presiding judge, El Saeed Bargouth, said the fact that TB was a father was another reason to spare him a harsher penalty.

The defence counsel said they would appeal against yesterday's verdict. The court was told that TB's 17-year-old daughter had been involved in a relationship with the victim when he worked at his uncle's company. He had asked her to marry him on numerous occasions, but her father had forbidden it because she was too young. In September 2007, one of the victim's cousins showed TB photos of his daughter superimposed on a pornographic image in which his nephew appeared. Infuriated, TB hit AB and fired him, the court heard.

The daughter told police that AB had called her to apologise and ask for her forgiveness. She agreed to meet him to delete the pictures herself. However, when they met, AB raped her, she claimed. Afraid to tell anyone, the girl said she kept quiet until a few months later when she realised that she was pregnant. When her parents found out, they sent her to Jordan to marry AB and save face, but he tried to prevent the marriage, she said.

The court was told that AB had further infuriated his uncle by demanding more money and a stake in his company. "He [AB] said that the whole family back in Jordan knew about his shame and he wanted him to write the company in his name and for him to stay at home and let him run the business the way he wanted," said Yusri Girgis, the defendant's lawyer. After killing AB on May 7, 2008, and hiding the body, TB joined friends and relatives in a search for his nephew, the court was told.

After his arrest, TB told investigators he had paid two African men Dh50,000 (US$13,000) to kill AB. After further questioning, however, he confessed to the murder and led police to the scene, where he re-enacted the event. amustafa@thenational.ae