x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Man claims blow that caused deadly fall was self-defence

A crane operator told the court that he was acting in self-defence when he hit a co-worker who had climbed up to confront him, causing the man to fall to his death.

ABU DHABI // A crane operator told the court today that he was acting in self-defence when he hit a co-worker who had climbed up to confront him, causing the man to fall to his death. The construction site dispute erupted when TM, a Sudanese supervisor, reassigned the assistant to MK, the crane operator, to work on another portion of the job. That led to an argument, according to MK's lawyer. "This caused my client to exchange a few unpleasant words with the victim over the radio," the attorney said in the Criminal Court of First Instance today. After the argument, TM began to climb up the crane's ladder to the operator's cab, the attorney continued. "This is a restricted area that very few people on the site can access... [TM] broke every rule in going up this crane, and he was not going up to talk to him, he was clearly going to hurt him," the attorney said, noting that there is only room for one person on top of the crane. "It was either my client dies or the attacker. He acted in self defence and no one can wrong him for that," the attorney added. MK opened the crane cabin where he was sitting and hit TM on the head with a metal rod, causing him to fall 45 metres to the ground. The forensics report said he died as a result of the fall. The victim's family, through an attorney, has refused blood money and asked for MK to be executed if convicted. They did ask for a compensation of Dh21,000 (US$5,700). MK, who is Pakistani, is charged with first-degree murder. He pleaded not guilty yesterday. The judge adjourned the proceedings until hearing next Sunday. myoussef@thenational.ae hhassan@thenational.ae