x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Family of tortured maid mull death sentence over Abu Dhabi killing

Relatives of the maid tortured to death with boiling water are still deciding whether to pardon her killer and accept blood money, or press for the death penalty.

ABU DHABI // The family of a maid who was tortured to death are yet to decide whether to accept blood money if her employer is found guilty.

The Ethiopian died after boiling water was poured over her, causing burns that become infected.

Her aunt was asked by judges at the Criminal Court this week if they wanted her employer to face the death penalty or if they would accept Dh200,000, but she said she could not decide “on the spot”.

“This is the first hearing I have attended. I will take a copy of the file and discuss it with the heirs and see what we decide,” said the aunt, who has power of attorney from the rest of the maid’s relatives.

When the judge asked how long that would take she said she would need two months, before changing her mind and asking for one month.

A?S, an Emirati, is accused of torturing the maid over a prolonged period.

The employer’s daughter testified that her mother would punish the maid by pouring boiling water over her.

She said she would also whip her with electrical wire and rub pepper into her eyes.

The defence lawyer asked for his client to be examined by a psychiatrist, claiming she had mental problems that meant she may not have been fully aware of her actions. He added that she was receiving treatment at Al Jimmi Hospital in Al Ain.

At a previous hearing the employer claimed she did not mean to kill the maid.

She admitted beating her when she was angry but denied pouring boiling water over her.

The court was presented with a medical report stating that evidence of torture had been found.

The report concluded that the maid died from several burns all over her body that had become infected.

A doctor determined the torture had taken place over “several periods” of time.

The case was adjourned until January 27.

hdajani@thenational.ae