x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Emirati accused of blood-feud murder claims his life is in danger in prison

One of four men accused of a revenge killing faints in court after giving a speech about the injustice he claims to have suffered in prison.

ABU DHABI // One of four Emirati men accused of murdering two Omanis in a blood-feud appeared at the Criminal Court today with a cast around his neck, claiming that his life was in danger while he remained in prison.

His claim came as relatives of the two dead men said they would waive their right to demand the death penalty if the four men were found guilty.

The two Omanis were shot in Al Jimmi, Al Ain, on May 4 after their car was rammed by another vehicle, allegedly being driven by MT and three of his brothers.

The court has previously heard that the brother of one of the dead Omanis murderd one of MT's other brothers in August 2009.

MT told the judge he had suffered severe injuries in an attack by a prison major who planned to kill him and said that if he died in jail it was the responsibility of the court to seek justice for him. He fainted a few minutes later and was carried out by police.

Nashwa Al Kubaisi, the defence lawyer for the four Emiratis, said MT had sustained injuries in prison to his neck and back that required hospital treatment, and asked for him to be transferred to Sheikh Khalifa Medical City.

"The prison clinic is not allowing us to transfer him unless there is an order from the court," she said, adding that her client's family was prepared to meet bail conditions "for any amount of money" were it to be granted. She said that, were the court to refuse bail, her client should be transferred to another jail and given a police guard.

However, the public prosecutor told the court that a medical report on the prisoner was inconsistent with his claims about the attacks. He also objected to the bail pleas of all four brothers.

Mrs Al Kubaissi requested for one of the other brothers, HT, to undergo psychiatric testing, presenting several medical reports showing he suffered mental illness and epilepsy. The judge told her that the brother had been offered such testing before but refused. She replied that his mental problems meant that he would need to be forced to take such a test.

The four brothers, and two relatives who are accused of helping them escape justice, have previously denied all charges. However, HT, has testified that he was in a vehicle that crashed into the car driven by the Omanis. He said he fired warning shots at the men after they approached him screaming and swearing, but said he fainted soon afterwards and could remember no more.

The case was adjourned to September 26.

hdajani@thenational.ae