x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Embassy seeks to support suspect

The Philippines Embassy says a Filipina accused of killing her Emirati husband, should have access to a UAE-based lawyer.

ABU DHABI // A Filipina who has been accused, along with her alleged lover, of killing her Emirati husband, should be given access to a UAE-based defence lawyer, the Consul General of the Philippines Embassy said. ALG, 39, and a Syrian man, PF, 42, who are said to have been having an affair, are being investigated over the death of MHN, 70, on July 8.

The case has been referred to the public prosecution. The Filipina, who has three children with her late husband, is being held in Al Wathba Central Jail as she awaits trial. She has denied murdering her husband. "We will request for the immediate hiring of a lawyer," said Noel Servigon, the Consul General. "The embassy will send a report to the foreign affairs department in Manila on her case."

The embassy will also seek the department's approval to provide a legal assistance fund for the woman, which would enable her to hire a UAE-based defence lawyer. The fund was created under the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995, which provided a framework for stronger protection of expatriate Filipino workers. "We got a confirmation that she and another man were accused of murder and that both have been detained," Mr Servigon said.

Carlito Dizon, the case officer for the embassy's Assistance to Nationals (ATN) unit, has visited ALG in jail to check on her condition. "According to Mr Dizon, she was not able to talk well, and could not even remember dates," Mr Servigon said. The woman called police after her children found MHN dead in his bed on the morning of July 9, said Sheikh Mohammed bin Tahnoun, the deputy director of the Bani Yas police station.

She told police that after dinner, her husband had taken his diabetes medication with milk and water and had gone to sleep in his bed. His children discovered him dead when they went to call him for breakfast. However, Sheikh Mohammed said police found blood on the man's face and knees, and investigators concluded he had been strangled. Results of a laboratory exam showed traces of the victim's skin cells under his wife's fingernails, and DNA tests revealed two of her children were fathered by the Syrian man, who was living on the second floor of the house and working at a restaurant partly sponsored by MHN.

He was also present on the night of the death. Col Maktoum al Shuraifi, the director of the criminal investigation department, said the man denied involvement in MHN's death, or having an affair with ALG. @Email:rruiz@thenational.ae