x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Kerry Winter's killer supports family's plea to reopen investigation

Mark Arnold says he, too, hopes prosecutors continue to search for Ms Winter's body.

DUBAI // The man convicted of killing the South African executive Kerry Winter said he supported her family's call to reopen the investigation.

Briton Mark Arnold, 44, told The National he hoped that the authorities considered the family's request to reopen the investigation, giving him another chance to prove his innocence.

On Wednesday, the Dubai Court of Appeal refused a request by the Winter family to re-investigate the location of Ms Winter's body.

The 36-year-old's family said they were eager to bring "closure" to the case.

Arnold, 42, was jailed for life last year for killing the South African and dumping her body in the sea.

"I have always maintained that the investigations were flawed," he told The National. "The investigation was not conducted holistically, and from the minute I was detained, I was pronounced guilty.

"I have been used as a scapegoat and falsely convicted."

Arnold said that many factors in the prosecution's case did not add up, and that his defence team has asked repeatedly for video evidence from various locations. "Kurt [Winter] may think I did it but I do not care what he thinks, I only care for Mrs Winter," he said, referring to Ms Winter's mother. "I want Mrs Winter to know that I support the claim to re-investigate."

Arnold appeared in court with his lawyer, Yousuf Hammad, on Wednesday.

His lawyer described the family's request as "really strange".

Ms Winter went missing on August 20, 2008. Prosecutors said Arnold beat her with a baseball bat after taking her into the desert, then put her body in a sack and threw her off his boat into the sea.

amustafa@thenational.ae