x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Child's accused killer 'willingly confessed'

The father of the four-year-old boy sexually assaulted and murdered in a mosque, wept as he faced his son's accused killer in court yesterday.

Mukhtiar Ahmed. pictured with his son Mustaffa, asked for the death penalty for the man accused of killing his other son, Moosa
Mukhtiar Ahmed. pictured with his son Mustaffa, asked for the death penalty for the man accused of killing his other son, Moosa

DUBAIi // The father of Moosa Mukhtiar Ahmed, the four-year-old boy sexually assaulted and murdered in a mosque, wept as he faced his son's accused killer in court yesterday and demanded the death penalty. Security was tight in the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance as Mukhtiar Ahmed appeared as one of six prosecution witnesses giving evidence at the trial of RR, a 30-year-old Emirati.

Twenty officers stood by as RR entered the court with a shaved head and a long beard, wearing white prison overalls. He kept his head down and avoided eye contact with Mr Ahmed. More than 100 people packed the courtroom's benches and listened to Mr Ahmed's account of events at the Bin Tahnoon Mosque, in Al Qusais 3, on November 27. He said he was on his way to the mosque to pray when he saw police, an ambulance and a crowd of people gathered outside.

"People said that there a was a dead child in the mosque, so I got worried and contacted my family," a tearful Mr Ahmed told the court. "I was told Moosa was not accounted for so I asked the police for an ID." He said he had seen Moosa for the last time at around 10.30am. The presiding judge, Fahmy Mounir Fahmy, then asked Mr Ahmed if he had any requests. He replied by calling for capital punishment.

The investigating officers, a lieutenant and a first lieutenant, told the court that RR had willingly confessed to the crime after his arrest. Judge Fahmy asked the officers if the defendant had admitted to intentionally killing the boy. "No, your Honour, he told us initially that he covered his face and mouth and the boy passed out," the lieutenant replied. "But then he said that he [was] screaming and he wanted to quiet him."

The first lieutenant told the court the defendant said in his confession that after the boy died, he dropped him and ran away. RR, a dhow boat captain, pleaded guilty last week to the assault and premeditated murder of Moosa Ahmed. He also pleaded guilty to drinking alcohol the night before the boy was killed and on the day in question. Moosa's 16-year-old maternal uncle, Mohammed Ali, told the court that Moosa had wanted to join him and his friends in celebrating Eid.

"He left the house with me wanting to come with me and my friends and I told him no and go with your friends," he said. "I left the house that morning and only discovered the incident afterwards when we saw the police cars and ambulance." Judge Fahmy adjourned the hearing until Sunday, when the prosecution lawyers will summarise their case and the defence counsel will address the court. Prosecutors are expected to reiterate their request for the death penalty.

@Email:amustafa@thenational.ae