x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

UAE death sentence torture dad took 'discipline a bit far' says lawyer

Father appealing his conviction for the torture and death of his eight-year-old daughter blames her injuries on his ex-wife.

DUBAI // A father who tortured and killed his eight-year-old daughter today blamed her injuries on his former wife.

Emirati H?S, 29, is appealing against his death sentence for Wadeema's death, and for torturing her sister, Mira, 7.

His girlfriend is fighting a life prison term.

"The medical report of Mira's condition ... said the burns on her body were all old expect for three burns," the father told the Appeals Court. "That is because all the burns except three were caused by her mother, who has been trying to get back at me.

"The other three, I admit I caused, but only in an attempt to discipline my girls."

The father claimed his former wife told their daughters he had no feelings for them, which explained a mental-health report concluding Mira felt unloved.

He also repeated claims his former wife had arranged for a spell to be cast on him, but that it had affected Wadeema instead.

"I know you didn't believe it when Mira said her sister was possessed by a djinn and sometimes spoke with the voice of a man but it's true," he said.

"Her mother ... often arranged for spells to be cast."

His lawyer, Hamady Al Sheewi, said the father had not meant to kill Wadeema, "he just wanted to discipline his girls, but he took it a bit far".

His trial at the Criminal Court heard the father and his girlfriend burnt the girls with irons and cigarettes and poured boiling water on them. They beat them with sticks, wires and bars, and shot them with a stun gun.

Wadeema died from her injuries May last year and was buried in the desert in Sharjah.

A verdict is expected on June 9.

salamir@thenational.ae