x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Ex-diplomat aids men in murder case

Four Kenyan men accused of beating their housemate to death are being assisted by a former Congolese diplomat.

The four men, who were in court yesterday, have pleaded not guilty to manslaughter.
The four men, who were in court yesterday, have pleaded not guilty to manslaughter.

DUBAI // Four Kenyan men accused of beating their housemate to death are being assisted by a former Congolese diplomat, Leopold Renatus, who has hired a lawyer and persuaded witnesses to testify at their trial. A Filipina witness, who was staying in the same villa compound, yesterday gave evidence before the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance. She told the court that the deceased and his brother had been drinking heavily since 7pm on the night in question. They had been fighting, she added, and had seriously injured each other long before the four accused were involved.

The witness agreed to give evidence after being assured that no legal action would be taken against her for overstaying her expired visit visa. "I met the boys at a police station and helped them find a lawyer," Mr Renatus said. "These boys are completely innocent." The four men, who were in court yesterday, have pleaded not guilty to manslaughter. Mr Renatus said they would remain in custody at the main prison in Al Aweer pending the outcome of the trial.

The incident occurred last November at a villa compound in the Satwa district of Dubai, where the defendants, the victim and the victim's brother lived. They all worked for the same company. The victim died from a brain haemorrhage, according to the medical examiner's report, which added that the deceased had been drinking before he died. According to the deceased man's brother, PM, he was with his brother, BM, in the common living area of the villa compound about 3am on Nov 18 when a defendant in the case, BK, 25, approached them. PM said BK took offence when his brother referred to the Masai tribe and alluded that BK "was the same Masai" who came looking for work the other day.

PM said BK asked them not to call him by this name, after which BK went to his room and came back with the other three defendants. "A tall, large man hit me from behind and I fell to the ground," PM said in his testimony to the public prosecution. "I saw the four of them punch my brother and when he fell to the ground they kicked him in various parts of his body." PM said the four defendants dragged them to their room, dumped them on the floor and left. PM said he awoke to find his brother lying beside him with blood coming out of his nose and mouth. He had no pulse, was not breathing and had turned cold. PM said he found out his brother was dead when an ambulance arrived an hour later.

The four defendants, however, claim that the two brothers assaulted one of them, a man identified as Brian, and they tried to break up the fight. @Email:hbathish@thenational.ae