x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Death sentences in killing of prostitute

Two men convicted in retrial of stabbing woman to death in 2010.

DUBAI // Two were sentenced to death this morning by the Court of Appeal for stabbing to death a prostitute in 2010.

AA, 40 and IH, 30, both from Afghanistan, had seen their sentences overturned by the Court of Cassation on August 15. The court ordered a retrial in light of the defence argument that the death was accidental.

But a new panel of judges, led by Chief Justice Issa Al Sharif of the appellate court, reviewed the case and issued a guilty verdict this morning. They ruled that the killing was premeditated.

Prosecution records show that AA was romantically involved with the victim, the Uzbekistani MH, while IH allegedly met her for the first time on the evening of her murder.

MH's flatmate, NA, 42, also a prostitute, was sentenced to six months in jail and has been deported since the initial court's judgement. But she told prosecutors AA and IH came to their apartment in February 2010 and had sex with her and the victim.

She said AA came to them that day upset because he believed MH was sleeping with many other Afghani men.

NA testified that she heard MH being killed, but was unable to help as IH repeatedly punched her and locked her in the bathroom.

MH was stabbed 23 times by the two men. The men also stole Dh600, two mobile phones, a DVD player and perfumes, records show. DNA evidence linked AA and IH to the crime scene.

"I intended to rob her. We fought and I unintentionally killed her. I did not preplan the crime," AA told the court of appeals at an earlier hearing.

A relative of AA told investigators he asked for Dh6,000 to escape the country, telling his relative he had killed a Russian woman in Dubai.

Investigators located AA and IH a few days after the murder at a bakery in Sharjah where they also slept, records show.

amustafa@thenational.ae