x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Row over camel led to fatal stabbing

A farmer is accused of murdering another after a camel deal went sour.

DUBAI // Prosecutors have requested the death penalty for a herder who confessed to killing a man in an argument over the sale of a camel.

The Sudanese herder, SA, 24, yesterday confessed in the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance to killing his compatriot, Mohammed Abbas Babikir, but denied it was premeditated.

SA was seen arguing with Babikir on December 9 last year at a farm near the Dubai-Al Ain highway.

He told prosecutors the argument was about his share of the profits in a camel sale.

Mohammed Abdel Bagy, 26, another Sudanese herder, said he was standing about 100 metres away and was witness to the argument.

"When I saw the two physically fighting I ran across to break them apart," said Mr Abdel Bagy.

"When I reached them I saw Mohammed on the floor bleeding profusely and holding his stomach, and SA standing next to him holding a small knife that was covered in blood."

Forensic reports show Babikir was stabbed twice - once in the stomach and once in the heart.

Mr Abdel Bagy told prosecutors Babikir had died in his arms.

"I laid his head on a rock and watched him spit out blood while taking his last breaths," he said.

Another herder from Sudan, Al Siddig Mohammed Ali, 42, grabbed SA when he saw Babikir had died.

"I was on the other side of the farm when I saw Mohammed Abdel Bagy running," Mr Ali said.

"I followed him, then I saw the Babikir lying dead and S A holding a knife covered in blood, so I grabbed him and took the knife away from him and called a friend to come and try to revive the victim."

His compatriot, Hayder Ajab, 42, told prosecutors that he picked up Babikir, placed him in his car and drove it out to the motorway to meet the ambulance and police responding to the call.

A police officer who interrogated SA told prosecutors he confessed to the killing, claiming he had a financial dispute with Babikir.

Camel herding and breeding is a lucrative enterprise that can generate millions in profits.

Khaled Salim Al Alwai from Public Prosecution asked Judge Maher Salam Al Mahdi to impose the death penalty on SA.

The court is scheduled to reconvene on February 22.

amustafa@thenational.ae