x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Unemployed man denies shooting cousin

An Emirati says he did not intend to shoot his cousin with a rifle, adding that it was merely a joke.

DUBAI // An unemployed man denied that he attempted to shoot his cousin with a rifle and said it was merely a joke, the Dubai Criminal Court heard.

JR, 25, an Emirati, is charged with the attempted murder of AS, posing risk to the life of AS and another man, and possessing two rifles - an A.301 P Beretta and an RS 800 - without a licence. He was also charged with possessing ammunition without a licence.

JR confessed to the possession charges but denied the attempted murder and posing risk charges. His lawyer said that one of the guns was given to the defendant's father by a sheikh and when his father died the gun was not returned.

"The defendant and his cousin were joking with each other when AS kicked my client out of the house so JR brought the gun but did not intend to fire it or else he would have done so the moment he opened the door," said Saeed Al Ghilani, the defence lawyer.

AS, 21, an Emirati student, testified that he was with a number of friends playing on his PlayStation when the defendant came to his house drunk.

"He started making problems with everyone in the room," said AS, adding that he asked him to leave before he caused a problem but JR refused.

JR was finally forced to leave, but returned 30 minutes later and knocked on the door of AS's room. When AS opened the door, JR allegedly pointed his rifle at AS's head. The victim said he pushed the rifle up so the gunshot hit the wardrobe in the room.

"It was AS's fault that the rifle fired because my client did not mean to shoot, but when AS pulled the gun up, he forced the gun to fire," said Mr Al Ghilani, who added that AS signed a waiver saying JR did not attempt to murder AS as described by the prosecution.

AS and his friends reported the incident to police.

The victim will testify at the next hearing, on July 30.

salamir@thenational.ae