x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Death sentence upheld for stabbing

A labourer's claim of self defence is rejected.

ABU DHABI // The Federal Supreme Court has upheld a death sentence for a labourer who stabbed a fellow worker to death after Friday prayers.

The Asian labourer admitted attacking his colleague, but claimed he acted in self defence after the man threatened to kill him.

He said the threat prompted him to buy two 15cm knives from Sharjah Mega Mall with which to protect himself.

On a Friday in February 2008, he said the other labourer shoved him when he went to the bathroom at the labour camp where both of them lived.

He then got the two knives from his room and hid them in his pocket.

Both men attended prayers, after which he waited for the other labourer.

When his fellow worker appeared a fight ensued and the knives came out. He said he could not remember the details of the stabbing as he was so angry at the time. However, the other man died from multiple stab wounds.

Five men who had been with the stabbed man at the time said he had not done or said anything to provoke the attack.

They said that when one of them tried to stop the attack the labourer threatened to stab him too.

Psychiatric tests proved the defendant was sane and aware of his actions.

Blood relatives refused to waive their right to vengeance so the Ajman Criminal Court of First Instance issued a death sentence.

The verdict was appealed both by the defendant, who claimed self defence, and the public prosecution.

When a death sentence is issued, by law the public prosecution must appeal the verdict until the case reaches the Federal Supreme Court, even if the defendant himself does not appeal.

hdajani@thenational.ae