x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Prosecutors seek death for prostitute's killer

A killer who was trapped by his fingerprints six years after he murdered a Chinese prostitute should be sentenced to death, they told the court.

DUBAI // A killer who was trapped by his fingerprints six years after he murdered a Chinese prostitute should be sentenced to death, prosecutors told a court yesterday. AM, 27, from Syria, was jailed in March for 15 years after he was convicted of murdering Zhu Li after an argument over cash in March 2003. Four months later the Court of Appeal reduced the sentence to three years. The man was caught after being arrested for street racing in Sharjah in 2009. When his fingerprints were put into the system they matched those taken from the scene and an outstanding arrest warrant was flagged up by the Federal Forensic Fingerprint System.

A M was contacted and told there was a sexual harassment complaint against him, and he should present himself at the police station. He was then arrested and charged. Yesterday, at the Dubai Cassation Court - the emirate's highest court - prosecutors argued that there were procedural errors in the appeal hearing, and asked for the death penalty. The case was adjourned until September 13. The original trial was told that AM had gone with a Bangladeshi friend to a brothel in the Naif district of Dubai, and agreed to pay Dh250 for the prostitute. He dozed off for an hour, and when he awoke discovered that Dh1,800 was missing.

AM told police that he and the woman got into a heated argument over the money and he slapped her. He said she hit him back, which infuriated him, so he hit her with a telephone charger and cracked her head. He told investigators that he fled the apartment, leaving her lying in a pool of blood. Police Major Abbas al Baloushi told prosecutors that when he was called to the scene of the crime, he found the victim's naked, decomposing body hidden under the mattress with her legs tied to the bed by a telephone charger cable.

An officer from the criminal investigations division said: "When the murder happened in 2003, we discovered more than 1,000 different fingerprints at the scene, because of the victim's profession. We had to call in most of the prostitute's clients who matched our database then." @Email:amustafa@thenational.ae