x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Man denies killing Emirati during botched robbery 10 years ago

AA, a 50-year-old driver, was arrested earlier this year and charged with the premeditated murder of a 59-year-old Emirati woman in September 2002.

DUBAI // A man accused of strangling a woman to death in a burglary 10 years ago denied the charge at the Criminal Court today.

AA, a 50-year-old driver who has a Comoros Islands passport, was arrested earlier this year and charged with the premeditated murder of the 59-year-old Emirati MM, on September 5, 2002.

Prosecutors told the court he knew the woman and assumed she was wealthy because she often gave to charity. They said he kept her house under surveillance while drinking beer in his rented Toyota Corolla until he was sure she was alone.

He then approached her doorstep and began to put on a pair of gloves. However, before he could finish doing so the woman confronted him. He threw away one of his gloves and pushed the woman to the ground before restraining her by stepping on her chest. He then strangled her before proceeding to her safe which he tried to break into. When he failed to do so he fled the scene.

He returned his rental car to a Sharjah hire company before heading to his home in Ajman where he continued drinking alcohol. The woman died the following day.

Police were unable to identify the lone fingerprint left on the safe, as it did not match any in their records, until earlier this year when it was linked to AA. It was unclear what lead to the breakthrough.

TM, 25 and MG, 32, the two Emirati police officers at Dubai CID who arrested the man said he initially denied any involvement in the death, but later told them how he had killed the woman.

"He said that since the crime he would only pass through Emirates Road from Sharjah to Abu Dhabi but would never enter Dubai," added one of the officers.

A hearing in 2002 heard from the dead woman's cousin, the 64-year-old Emirati HA. He said he had been calling her repeatedly and wondered why she wasn't picking up the phone.

"I went to her house in Al Satwa to check on her and found her lying dead on the floor of her living room," he said.

The next hearing was scheduled for September 16.

salamir@thenational.ae