x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Dad's girlfriend says she tortured his daughter, 8, to death

The pregnant girlfriend of a man whose eight-year-old daughter was tortured to death and buried in the desert yesterday claimed full responsibility, saying he had nothing to do with it.

DUBAI // The pregnant girlfriend of a man whose eight-year-old daughter was tortured to death and buried in the desert yesterday claimed full responsibility, saying he had nothing to do with it.

And the father, HS, 29, denied all charges, except that of hiding his daughter Wadeema's body, when he arrived an hour late at Dubai Criminal Court.

"I beat them and burnt them. He did not do anything," the girlfriend, AM, 27, told Judge Maher Salameh.

As she was leaving the courtroom, the girls' mother screamed at AM: "May you burn in hell."

The Emirati couple are charged with imprisoning and torturing HS's daughters, Wadeema, 8, and Mira, 7. They are also charged with torture leading to the death of Wadeema, burying her without a permit, and torture leading to the 10 per cent permanent disability of Mira.

The father said he did not know what to do with the body after Wadeema died. He also denied harming Mira, saying: "Her arm was already broken and I took her to Rashid Hospital for treatment."

His girlfriend said she was the one who hurt Mira.

The couple lived in a studio flat in International City, where they are alleged to have burnt the girls with irons and cigarettes, poured boiling water over them and beaten them with sticks and bars.

A policeman, AQ, testified that when he visited the flat after the girls' uncle reported Wadeema as missing, the girlfriend said the father had been torturing his daughters and at the end of March he beat Wadeema with an electrical cord.

The next morning the father found her dead, AQ, from Al Rashidiya station, told prosecutors.

Another policeman, SMM, testified that the father confessed he was beating his daughters because he believed they were possessed by djinn, especially Wadeema.

Mira told investigators the couple tied their hands and locked them in the toilet or closet, often without food or water.

She said of the last time she saw her sister: "They wrapped Wadeema in a white cloth and took her … at nearly midnight, then returned in the morning and my father told me he sent her back to my mother."

Prosecutors said the defendants continued to torture Mira after her sister's death.

A forensics report said HS had traces of Tramadol in his blood.

A hearing is scheduled for next Wednesday to appoint lawyers for the defendants.

salamir@thenational.ae