x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Court rules Dubai 'torture dad' fit to stand trial for killing daughter

A father accused of torturing and killing his 8-year-old daughter with the help of his pregnant girlfriend has been ruled mentally fit to stand trial.

DUBAI // A father accused of torturing his eight-year-old daughter to death with the help of his pregnant girlfriend has been ruled mentally fit to stand trial.

The father’s girlfriend was also found to be free of any mental or psychological illness, the Criminal Court heard today.

Judge Maher Salameh received reports from Rashid and Latifa hospitals, where medical committees examined the father H?S, 29, and his girlfriend A?M, 27, both Emirati, after they claimed to be unstable at the time of the killing.

Both are charged with imprisoning and torturing the man’s two daughters, Wadeema, 8, and Mira, 7, killing Wadeema, hiding her body and burying her body without the proper permits.

The father has denied all charges except hiding his daughter’s body, while the girlfriend has confessed to all charges. They are accused of burning the girls with irons and cigarettes in their studio flat in International City.

They are said to have poured boiling water on the girls, and beaten them with sticks, electrical cords and bars. Prosecutors said they also used a stun gun.

When Wadeema died from her injuries, she was wrapped in a white cloth and buried in the desert in Sharjah.

Today the court heard testimony from the girls’ uncle, M?S, a Navy officer; the girls’ mother S?O, 24; and a forensics expert, A?A, 25.

The uncle, 30, blamed the girlfriend for the torture.

“[My brother] would have done the impossible to provide for and protect his girls,” he said. “I don’t know why he remained silent when [she] tortured them. He even bought them an iPad.”

The judge asked: “Did that ‘impossible’ include not noticing all this torture, abuse and leaving them without food?”

The uncle said Mira, the younger daughter, told him the girlfriend had been the abusive one.

“She even told me, ‘I love Daddy, why did police take him?’” he said.

The girls’ mother told the court they were taken from her in November last year.

She said the father refused to let her see them, even after she called the girlfriend to ask for her help.

The mother said she married the father in 2002 and they divorced in 2006. She said she had been a friend of the father’s girlfriend, with whom she went to school.

The forensics expert said Mira had been lucky not to die from her injuries.

He could not give a definitive cause of death for Wadeema as her body was severely decomposed.

The court is still to hear from three other witnesses, including Mira. The next hearing was scheduled for September 30.

salamir@thenational.ae