x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Man murdered his wife as it was ‘cheaper than a divorce’, Dubai court is told

Man strangled wife to death before dumping her body in the desert, hears court.

DUBAI // A man strangled his wife to death because he felt divorce would be too costly, a court heard yesterday.

AQ, 23, from India, murdered Bushra Atif with the help of his friend RA, 28, from Pakistan, then wrapped her body in a bin bag and dumped it in the desert, prosecutors told the Criminal Court. The bag was discovered on the Dubai to Al Ain Road by a municipality cleaner who spotted the woman’s head protruding and called police.

When officers tried to contact the woman’s husband they discovered he had left the country on the same day as her death – March 11.

The court heard that the man had brought his wife to the UAE about three years ago but that he had moved out of their home and moved in with his friend, whom the wife believed to be a bad influence.

“She told me that she often warned him about his friend and asked him to stay away from him but he wouldn’t listen,” testified the dead woman’s father-in-law, QA, 55.

The couple’s problems grew after the man quit his job. Once he came home drunk and assaulted his wife because she asked him to look for work, said the father-in-law.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if my son and his Pakistani friend did it and killed her,” he said, adding that Atif had confided that her husband was having an affair with a Filipina.

The man began spending more and more time with his friend before eventually moving in to share his accommodation at a labour camp.

On March 11 this year, the pair visited the woman and waited until she fell asleep before strangling her and dumping the body, say prosecutors.

“I saw the bag 15 metres away from where I was cleaning and when I came closer to it, I saw a human head and immediately called the police,” said the cleaner who discovered the bag, AF, 37, from Bangladesh.

When police realised the husband had left the country they tracked down his friend and arrested him.

“He said in his confession that the husband lured him into helping him and told him that he wanted to divorce his wife but that if he did so he would have to pay her a monthly alimony which he could not afford,” a police lieutenant told the court.

“He told me that when he went to the couple’s house, he found his friend acting strangely and telling him he killed his wife. When the Pakistani walked into the bedroom he found the woman was still alive, so he sat on top of her and strangled her until she died.”

RA denied a charge of premeditated murder. AQ, the husband, was not in court to enter a plea.

The next hearing was scheduled for September 29.

salamir@thenational.ae