x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Death sentence upheld in pregnant woman's murder

An appeals court upheld the verdict for a husband convicted of stabbing to death his pregnant wife and killing their unborn child.

ABU DHABI // An appeals court upheld yesterday the death sentence and five-year jail term for a man convicted of stabbing to death his pregnant wife and killing their unborn child.

MH, who is Egyptian, was found guilty by Abu Dhabi Criminal Court of First Instance several months ago. He was sentenced to five years in prison for abortion, and to death for murder.

Prosecutors said he stabbed his wife several times after she told him she was two months pregnant with his child.

The murder took place 10 months ago in Madinat Zayed, the court heard. The verdict was automatically appealed within 15 days, but the Appellate Court upheld the sentence.

According to UAE law, it is a crime for a person to abort her pregnancy. A doctor can perform abortions in two cases only: if pregnancy would endanger the mother's life, or if there is evidence the baby would be born with deformities that are not treatable.

In the latter case, the foetus must be aborted before 121 days, and the abortion must be approved by a special medical panel.

hhassan@thenational.ae