x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Judge rebukes lawyer over DNA gaffe in murder case

Lawyerwho did not realise DNA evidence had been presented against his client is told: 'As a defence lawyer, you should have studied the papers well.' .

ABU DHABI // A judge rebuked a lawyer in court yesterday for not realising DNA evidence had been presented against his client, who is accused of murder and sexual assault. The lawyer, representing a Pakistani, FS, told the judge his client did not intend to kill as he was acting in self-defence. He said FS was sitting with friends when the victim asked him to go outside. They walked a little and then the victim pulled a knife from his trousers and tried to stab his client, the lawyer said.

"My client did not have any weapons ... and was surprised," the lawyer said. "He took the knife because he was terrified." The lawyer said forensic science evidence showed cuts on his client's hands confirmed F S held the knife by its blade. When the judge asked him about the sex assault charge, the lawyer replied: "The other one is easy because there is no evidence against him, and he denied that before prosecutors."

Chief Justice Saeed Abdul Baseer said there was DNA evidence that corroborated the sex assault. "How do you rate yourself in terms of ethics?" he asked. "As a defence lawyer, you should have studied the papers well." The lawyer apologised and asked for leniency for his client on the sex assault charge and acquittal on the murder charge. The judge is expected to issue a verdict on October 5. @Email:hdajani@thenational.ae