x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Prostitute 'who helped kill friend' asks to be set free

A prostitute who helped a man shatter the skull of her friend so they could burgle her apartment, has asked a court to set her free after 15 years in jail.

A prostitute who helped a man shatter the skull of her friend so they could burgle her apartment, has asked a court to set her free after serving 15 years of her life sentence.

JP, a 42-year-old Ukrainian, was originally sentenced to death for her role in the premeditated murder but appealed this and had her sentence reduced to life in prison - 25 years.

On December 25, 1996, she phoned her friend JK to say she would be visiting her later. She arrived with a man, YF, and began chatting to her friend. While her friend was distracted, the man took out a metal bar and clubbed her to death with it, shattering her skull in the process. The pair then dragged her body to her bedroom, threw the body face down on her bed and proceeded to burgle the apartment. Both then fled the country.

Police discovered the body four days later when the building's estate agent informed them she was missing.

Officers found the woman in a pool of blood with an open skull and her brain in pieces.

Police managed to tempt JP 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 was sent for trial.

On July 5, 1997, she appeared at the Dubai Court of First Instance and pleaded guilty. That court sentenced her to death but the Appeals Court reduced this to life in prison with an additional 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 will not leave the UAE before she comes up with the money," he said.

JP presented a letter of good behaviour from the central prison to bolster her appeal - being held at the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance.

The court will announce its verdict on April 24.

salamir@thenational.ae