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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 19 June 2018

Dubai court upholds life sentences for brutal murder of groom-to-be

The Cessation Court upheld four life sentences and one three-year sentence for the killing of one man and the burning of three others with acid

The Dubai Cessation Court upheld the sentences of five men who killed a 25-year-old groom one month before his wedding by stabbing him repeatedly with a knife and a sword, then hit him on the head with a shovel and a rock.

The Emirati men, aged between 22 and 33, were convicted of the premeditated murder of their compatriot, as well as burning three other Emiratis with acid, on March 16, 2015, in Al Warqaa.

All of them were sentenced to life in jail; however, Dubai Appeals Court later overturned the sentence against one 20-year-old defendant, reducing his prison term from 25 years to three years.

On their original appearance in Dubai Criminal Court in April last year, the five men denied premeditated murder and charges of physical assault. “It is not true,” the five said in unison.

Read more: Life sentences for killers who beat groom-to-be to death

The men were arrested shortly after the victim was driven to hospital by one of his injured friends. He was pronounced dead on arrival.

“I am certain that they had been high on drugs, because I have never seen such a brutal attack in my life. They kept on stabbing and hitting him for nearly half an hour,” said the deceased's friend, a military man, who himself suffered burns after being hit on the head with an acid bottle.

He added that the dispute started when one of the defendants insulted the deceased, after which a second defendant threw a bottle of acid towards the victim’s friends.

“Four of them then chased him (the groom) and one stabbed him in the back as he ran. He fell to the ground, then one began stabbing him with a knife, another with a sword. The third hit him repeatedly with a shovel while the last struck him on the head with a rock. This lasted for about half an hour,” said the friend, who tried to help, but failed.

He said that when the defendants left, he managed to carry his friend and put him in his car, but he died on the way to the hospital. “Before he died, he smiled and told me that he knew he is going to die,” testified the groom’s 25-year-old Emirati friend.

Two other friends who also suffered from acid burns were admitted to the ICU at Rashid hospital and are in need of reconstructive surgery due to the severity of their burns.

The victim’s father testified that his son had just returned from visiting his future bride when the killers lured him to a meeting in order to reconcile and end their old disputes.

An Emirati policeman testified that a woman living nearby the location where the murder took place reported the incident to police. “She told us she heard terrible screams, but was too scared to go see what was happening,” said the officer, adding that a bloody trail stretched nearly 100 metres along the road where the fight happened.

Prosecutors told that court that several bullets were found in the defendants’ possession.

The Cessation Court upheld a life sentence for four of the defendants, and a three-year-prison term for one defendant.