x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Hunters on murder trial acted in self-defence, Abu Dhabi court hears

Three Emiratis are accused of illegally owning unlicensed hunting weapons and murdering a man outside UAE borders.

ABU DHABI // Three hunters on trial for murdering a man in the desert after rocks were thrown at their car said they acted in self-defence.

Abu Dhabi Criminal Court yesterday heard that the three Emiratis are accused of illegally owning unlicensed hunting weapons and murdering a man outside UAE borders.

One of the men, N D, said he and his two friends, M D and H D, drove into remote Omani desert on a hunting trip in early January.

On arrival a Toyota Hilux was parked on the uneven, sandy road, he said, adding that the Hilux started following them, attempting to hit the Emiratis’ Toyota Land Cruiser.

N D claimed that passengers of the Hilux, who were Omani, then started throwing rocks at them before one man took a pistol out and fired it in the air.

As a warning, the Emiratis did the same but one of their bullets landed on a Hilux passenger’s head, killing him instantly.

The men in the Hilux denied they had a gun but admitted to hitting the Land Cruiser with rocks.

The Emiratis’ defence lawyer, Abdulla Al Kaabi, cited a verse of the Quran, when he said: “So whoever has assaulted you, then assault him in the same way that he has assaulted you.”

He added: “The defendants’ actions were of defence and to warn, they had not intended on killing the man.

“They did not know the other group and they did not have reasons to attack or even murder the man.”

He requested that the trio be acquitted.

Omani lawyer Waleed Al Zadjali, who represents the dead man’s family, requested the death penalty for the Emiratis.

A verdict is due on October 24.

aalkhoori@thenational.ae