x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Dubai mosque child killer to face firing squad

Emirati fishing boat captain will face firing squad for rape and murder of boy aged four.

An Emirati fishing boat captain was sentenced to death this morning for the rape and murder of a four-year-old boy in a mosque toilet. RR, 30, who admitted to raping and murdering Moosa Mukhtiar Ahmed on the first day of Eid al Adha last year, must first serve six months in jail for consuming alcohol before facing his death by firing squad. Judge Fahmy Mounir Fahmy made his ruling in a packed courtroom at the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance. "The killer showed no mercy to the child and so the court will show him no mercy," he said. Moosa's father and two uncles immediately began crying and hugging each other when the ruling was made; they were soon congratulated by others seated nearby. The boy's father Mukhtiar Ahmed Khudabaksh, speaking after the judgement, said: "This man deserved this sentence. "I want to thank the people who stood by me and the court for this decision." The judge said a date for RR's appeal hearing was expected to be set imminently. Just as the case was expedited, so would the appeal, he said. In The National tomorrow: The lonely, unloved child who grew into a killer

The last known person to be executed in the UAE was A.H.S., a 36-year-old Emirati man, in February 2008. He was killed by firing squad in Ras al-Khaimah after being convicted of killing two compatriots. Drug trafficking and violent crimes including rape and murder can be dealt with by execution by the courts, although such sentences are rare. According to Hands off Cain, a death penalty awareness group, 14 executions have been carried out here since the formation of the UAE. The court's appeal process grants a person sentenced to death the right to appeal to the ruler of the emirate where the offence was committed. Any death sentence has to be ratified by the Sheikh, in this case Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. In the instance of murder, the victim's family have the option of receiving financial compensation, or diya, and commuting the sentence of the convicted criminal, according to Islamic Sharia law. The prosecutors in the case and Moosa's father, Mukhtiar Ahmed Khudabaksh, have said they want R.R. to face execution. The Dubai Attorney General, Issam al Humaidan, has also called for the death penalty. Currently 59 countries retain the death penalty, but according to Amnesty International only 25 countries carried out executions in 2008. Officially, at least 2,390 people were known to have been executed that year. *Paul Driscoll pdriscoll@thenational.ae