x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Policeman who killed wife sentenced to death

The man poured acid on his spouse's body and threw her down a well.

FUJAIRAH // The father of a teenage girl murdered by her husband has welcomed the death sentence issued by the Supreme Court for his daughter's killer.

Justice Falah al Hajeri issued the verdict on Tuesday, overturning the life sentence handed down by the Fujairah Federal Court of Appeals.

Ali Mohammed, the young woman's father, cried for joy when he heard that the man who murdered his 19-year-old daughter Maha in 2009 would be executed.

"I want to give my thanks to the government about the judgment," he said. "They did what they should have done."

The Emirati policeman RM, 23, testified that he beat his wife unconscious, stabbed her, struck her with a rock and poured acid on her body before throwing her remains into an abandoned well. The couple had been married for about four months after an engagement of less than a year.

Maha, the eldest daughter of eight children, was a student at the Higher Colleges of Technology. She and her husband, the youngest of three sons, were cousins who had known each other from childhood. The family said there had been no indication that he was aggressive. Maha had looked forward to marriage and never complained after her wedding.

"She always said she was comfortable and happy," said Mr Mohammed, 42. "She didn't appear to be sad or in fear. We thought she had problems but only the same small problems all couples have."

A male relative who did not want to be named said women who suffered from abuse should ask their families to intervene.

"Maha is like a younger sister to me," said the 31-year-old businessman. "When she had a problem with her husband she did not speak to her family or her husband's family. A woman must talk to her family, to her parents. They will look to solve the problem."

Mr Mohammed said he had received congratulations from people across Fujairah following the verdict. He also said it was still too soon for him to consider the marriages of his three remaining daughters, the eldest of whom is 18. His wife has not seen or spoken to her brother, the murderer's father, since Maha's death.

"I can't think to marry them because I don't know how the husband will be," he said. "After the murder we didn't go anywhere but the house and the mosque. Now even brothers don't feel safe with brothers."

Mr Mohammed said he would feel safer after the execution. He and his wife will be required to attend the event if it is approved by Sheikh Khalifa, the President of the UAE. They can choose to stop the sentence being carried out by providing a declaration of forgiveness or by choosing to accept blood money. Discussing the tragedy still brings tears and anger to family members.

"Nobody feels safe like before," said Maha's cousin, a 25-year-old university graduate who asked not to be identified. "If your husband could do this, what about others?

"We want this person to be killed. I want people to fear the law and I want everyone to know the judgment. There was no reason for this crime."

azacharias@thenational.ae

hhassan@thenational.ae