x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Labourer 'tried to kill' three roommates after row over belongings

Judge orders defendant to remain silent after outburst as witness gives evidence.

ABU DHABI // A labourer tried to kill his three roommates after a row over his belongings being moved from his bed, a court has been told. Prosecutors say RM used two knives to stab fellow labourers AM, ME and TH in their room at a labour camp in Al Reef. The day before the incident in June, the Criminal Court of First Instance was told, RM had an argument with AM, who had taken items from RM's bed and moved them across the room.

The following day RM waited for AM to arrive home and stabbed him several times in the chest with two knives, prosecutors said. When ME arrived and tried to enter the room to retrieve his ID card, RM would not let him pass. ME tried to take the knives away from him, but was stabbed in the head and under his right arm. The third roommate, TH, intervened and was able to take one knife from RM, but was stabbed in the right hand with the other knife.

TH told the court: "They had a normal argument the day before, and we thought it was over. He surprised us with his actions the following day." Chief Justice Syed Abdul Baseer asked: "Was there anything else between them, any other source of conflict?" As TH started explaining to the judge that there was no other issue, RM interrupted, saying: "It was my bed, my bed." Justice Abdul Baseer repeatedly told him to remain silent. "What you are saying won't benefit you. Let him talk. I told you to remain silent," the judge said.

The three roommates withdrew their complaints a month after the incident, but RM has been charged with attempted murder. The case has been adjourned until Sunday. @Email:hdajani@thenational.ae