x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Four brothers accused of Al Ain 'revenge killing' assault court guards

The brothers erupted in anger after the Criminal Court judge refused bail, unmoved by defence claims that the men were suffering ill health due to abuse in jail.

ABU DHABI // Four brothers accused of a revenge killing in Oman assaulted their guards in court yesterday after being refused bail.

The Emirati brothers erupted in anger after the Criminal Court judge ordered them back to their cells, unmoved by defence claims that they were suffering from abuse they were receiving in jail.

As the hearing was adjourned, one of the brothers asked the judge for a last chance to address the court, but the judge refused, saying the inmate kept repeating himself.

The refusal to be heard enraged M?A, who broke the microphone in the prisoners' cage, pounded on the glass and screamed curses at the courtroom.

His brothers tried to calm him, but when police approached and tried to subdue him the brothers began to assault the officers and joined in cursing and banging on the glass.

Eventually the officers managed to subdue all four and escort them from the court.

The brothers are accused of shooting and killing two Omani men after ramming their car in Al Jimi, in a revenge attack for the death of a fifth brother who was allegedly killed by a relative of one of the Omanis.

Since the trial started last year, the brothers have been asking for bail citing poor health conditions and prison abuse. Their lawyer, Nashwa Al Qubaissy, continued that argument yesterday.

Mrs Al Qubaissy said M?A, who attended with a cast around his neck and bandages, needed urgent surgery for his spleen.

She said he had hepatitis and problems with his blood, and asked for him to be moved to Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, saying the prison facility was not suitable for the surgery.

But prosecutors objected, saying the jail hospital had "top standards" and that it was the prison's responsibility to assess what treatment he should receive and where.

Mrs Al Qubaissy said a second brother, H A, had a brain tumour and also needed bail.

She said the second brother, who is accused of pulling the trigger in one of the deaths, was blind, and she requested that an ophthalmologist testify in court.

She also requested a third psychiatric report regarding his mental condition, claiming the previous two were contradictory.

Earlier yesterday, Mrs Al Qubaissy asked for an Etisalat expert to testify, saying police claims that identified the whereabouts of the brothers from their mobile phone records could be faulty. She said network coverage in border areas was notoriously patchy.

Prosecution objected, saying the police witness was a credible source and his testimony should be enough.

The judge agreed to consider the witness requests, but refused bail for the brothers.

He added that M A was previously granted a transfer to a public hospital but refused to stay there because he had been tied to a bed.

The case was adjourned until January 23.

hdajani@thenational.ae