x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Prostitute on murder rap denied early release

Woman serving life sentence for her part in the murder of a friend had presented the court with a letter of good behaviour from the central prison.

DUBAI // A prostitute serving a life sentence for her role in the murder of her friend was today denied an early release date.

JP, a 42-year-old Ukrainian, appeared devastated when the Dubai Criminal Court issued its ruling. She had presented the court with a letter of good behaviour from the central prison and asked it to set her free after serving 15 years in jail.

But the court decided she should serve the rest of her life sentence - 25 years - plus the three years she was sentenced to for working as a prostitute.

The sentence relates to a murder that occurred on December 25, 1996, when the prostitute visited her friend accompanied by man, YF. While the prostitute chatted to her friend, the man took out a metal bar and clubbed her to death, shattering her skull in the process.

The pair then burgled the apartment before fleeing the country.

The body was discovered four days later when the building's estate agent informed police the victim was missing.

Police managed to tempt the prostitute back to the UAE by arranging with some of her friends to convince her to return.

She was arrested in the airport upon arrival and sent for trial.

On July 5, 1997, she appeared at the Dubai Criminal Court and pleaded guilty to premeditated murder. That court sentenced her to death but the Appeals Court reduced this to life in prison - 25 years - plus three years for working as a prostitute.

During prosecution investigations she confessed to planning the crime with the man, who was never caught, and buying the metal bar together.

A Pakistani friend of the prostitute said at the time of the murder she had been complaining about a debt she owed to a man in Ukraine. "She told me she would not leave the UAE before she comes up with the money," he said.

salamir@thenational.ae