x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Murder defendant's competence at issue

Lawyers for a 19-year-old Emirati man charged with murder have asked the Criminal Court of First Instance to test the defendant's mental competence.

ABU DHABI // Lawyers for a 19-year-old Emirati man charged with murder have asked the Criminal Court of First Instance to test the defendant's mental competence. AS is being tried as an adult on a charge of first-degree murder for allegedly shooting a schoolmate. He could face the death penalty if he is convicted. Yesterday, the judge ordered that AS undergo an examination to determine his state of mind.

The hearing was adjourned pending the report on August 2. The trial is an unusual case involving youths and firearms. Some time on the evening of January 19, the court heard, RS met AS at an unidentified location and an altercation ensued. RS was allegedly shot in the head at point-blank range by AS. The trial has been in progress since January, and prosecutors have said that it could last until the end of the year.

Two Facebook groups honouring RS have been formed since the slaying. myoussef@thenational.ae