x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

UAE torture dad claims daughter he killed was 'possessed'

A father convicted of torturing and killing his eight-year-old daughter Wadeema told the Appeals Court today that the girl was “possessed”.

DUBAI // A father convicted of torturing and killing his eight-year-old daughter Wadeema told the Appeals Court today that the girl was “possessed”.

He also claimed that that his original trial was “fiction” and that his girlfriend confessed to her part in the crime only because she was stressed.

“Your honour, my daughter Wadeema was possessed. Mira, her sister, knew this and often told me that Wadeema spoke in a voice of a man, but when I told prosecutors, they mocked me,” said H?S, 29, before apologising to the judge for raising his voice.

The father was appearing at the court for the first hearing in his appeal against his death sentence. He and his girlfriend A?M, both Emirati, were convicted of torturing his two daughters, Wadeema and Mira, 7, as well as killing Wadeema and hiding her body. Both are now appealing, despite the girlfriend pleading guilty during her original trial. Wadeema’s father pleaded not guilty in his original trial to all charges except that of hiding his daughter’s body.

He told the Appeals Court there was no tangible evidence against him, claiming that the court case so far was more like a fictional “movie”, and that investigators had overlooked any evidence backing up his version of events.

“They talked about the expired food in the fridge and overlooked the valid food, they overlooked my brother’s testimony which proved that I treated my daughters well – even Mira’s testimony changed.

“She was on YouTube talking about just punishment, but how could a child her age know what a just punishment is?” he said.

He claimed that he had been wrongly blamed for the girl’s broken arm saying she fell and that he took her to a hospital which didn’t treat her properly. He said the burns spoken of by police had been caused by the mother’s maid. .

He admitted that his girlfriend had burnt his daughter, but said she did this “only once”. He explained his girlfriend’s confession by claiming she was stressed due to her pregnancy.

The father showed the court pictures of him and his daughters at a hotel, saying these proved he took good care of them and had not imprisoned them at his studio flat in International City as the prosecution claim.His girlfriend gave birth to his son while she was in custody awaiting trial for Wadeema’s murder.

“As for the death sentence, I died when Wadeema died and death is 100 times better than seeing my son being raised to know that he was the fruit of an illicit relation,” he added.

The trial of the couple at the Criminal Court heard the father and his girlfriend had burnt both girls with irons and cigarettes and had poured boiling water on them. When Wadeema died from her injuries, she was wrapped in a white cloth and buried in the desert in Sharjah.

The case was adjourned until April 14.

salamir@thenational.ae