x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Remorseless prostitute killer has death sentence upheld by Dubai court

A labourer who cut the throat of a prostitute in a row over money had his death sentence upheld, meaning the verdict will now go to the emirate's Ruler for approval.

DUBAI // A labourer who cut the throat of a prostitute in a row over money had his death sentence upheld by the Cassation Court yesterday.

The decision means that AK, 29, from Pakistan, has exhausted the appeals process in the courts. The verdict will now go to the emirate's Ruler for approval, and if this approval is given a date will be set for him to face the firing squad.

The labourer killed the woman in April 2011, blaming her for stealing Dh6,000 from his wallet after she had had sex with him at her flat in Al Mutaina.

He returned bearing a 16-inch knife and a copy of the Quran and told her to return the money, but when she knocked the book out of his hand he cut her throat three times.

The Criminal Court sentenced the labourer to death in February last year, finding him guilty of premeditated murder and theft despite his claims he intended only to scare the woman.

The court heard that he met the prostitute, SH, from Uzbekistan, three months before the killing and paid her Dh100 for sex. Six days before the killing they met again, when he went to her apartment and drank alcohol before having sex with her and passing out. When he woke up and returned to his home opposite the Naif Police Station, he discovered the money was missing.

"I pleaded to her several times to return the money, but she refused and repeated to me that she had taken money from many people and never returned it," recalled the labourer.

He told the court that at first he meant only to scare the woman into giving him back the money, which he was saving to send to his wife back home.

On the morning of April 28 in 2011, armed with a knife he had purchased at Milbar Super Market, he returned to the prostitute's flat and explained the money was for his poor wife in Pakistan.

He said that when the prostitute remained unmoved he pulled out his copy of the Quran and read some verses to "soften her heart". She knocked the book out of his hand, which infuriated him.

He then ripped off her gown, grabbed her by the hair and slashed her throat three times before throwing her facedown on her bed. He stole Dh200 from her purse and two mobile phones, discarded the knife and left.

"She deserved to die," said the labourer in his testimony, adding that on his way home he stopped to pray at a mosque but did not feel any remorse.

The prostitute's death was discovered when she failed to answer her husband's calls and he asked a friend to check on her.

MS, 42, from Pakistan, found her door unlocked. "When I walked in, I saw her dead body and immediately called the police," he said.

Police arrested the labourer after tracing the barcode found on the murder weapon. They found footage of him buying the knife at the supermarket.

A police officer told the court that the labourer was arrested in his room on April 30 and the prostitute's money and mobile phones were found with him.

salamir@thenational.ae