x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Prosecutors appeal acquittal of murders

A man acquitted of killing one court witness in his home and another in a courtroom during his own trial insists in a court of appeal that he was unaware of his actions due to a severe mental psychosis.

ABU DHABI // A man acquitted of killing one court witness in his home and another in a courtroom during his own trial insisted yesterday in a court of appeal that he was unaware of his actions due to a severe psychosis.

BAM, an Egyptian, was acquitted last month in the Abu Dhabi Criminal Court of First Instance of charges that he killed two Nepalese men involved in a lawsuit against him in Al Gharbia.

The court acquitted him after he presented two medical reports showing he had severe mental problems, making him not responsible for the crimes.

Prosecutors appealed against the verdict and BAM appeared yesterday at the Abu Dhabi Court of Appeal, under heavy guard, to restate his case.

He reiterated that he was not responsible for his actions and asked the court for a lawyer.

BAM had been charged last year with beating a Nepalese man in a fight and permanently damaging one of his eyes, according to BAM's lawyer at the criminal court.

The Nepalese man, LK, asked the court for compensation for the lasting harm, but BAM said he had acted in self-defence.

A witness, also from Nepal, was to appear before Al Dhafra Court in Al Gharbia to testify in favour of LK late last year. BAM is accused of killing the witness in his home.

At the end of the court hearing in that case, inside the courtroom, BAM pulled out a knife hidden under his clothes and attacked LK, the original beating victim.

After being stabbed several times, the victim attempted to run outside, but BAM chased him down and stabbed him again before being subdued by bystanders.

He was arrested and confessed to prosecutors and police that he killed the witness and LK.

BAM was referred to Abu Dhabi Criminal Court of First Instance for trial for the two killings. But he presented a forensics report showing he suffered from chronic psychosis, a severe psychiatric disorder that made him unaware of his actions.

Prosecutors challenged the report and requested a more specialised one. The man was tested at SheikhKhalifa Medical City and doctors confirmed he was mentally ill. He had suffered from the disorder for 23 years and often did not remember his actions.

The court acquitted him last month and recommended he receive treatment. The case was adjourned so that BAM could be appointed a lawyer.

 

hhassan@thenational.ae