x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Three men abused, strangled and set their victim on fire in desert, UAE court hears

Police release findings of the murder of a 21-year-old Emirati who was allegedly abused, strangled and burnt in a desert in Oman.

ABU DHABI // Three men sexually abused a friend before strangling him to death with a seatbelt, setting his body on fire and throwing it into a valley, the Federal Court heard.

Police say the brutal murder happened after the middle-aged Emiratis and their 21-year-old friend went on a trip to Oman to go drinking at a nightclub in November 2012.

After leaving the club in Al Buraimi, just across the border from Al Ain, at about 2.30am, the men drove to a remote valley in Oman, where the Emirati victim, N N, from Rashidiya, in Dubai, was asked to strip, the head investigator in the case, Maj Adel Mohammed, told the court on Tuesday.

Cousins M A and A A, from Dubai, and Y B, from Ajman, are then said to have ordered N N to have sex with them, but he refused so he was forced into a sexual act.

Maj Mohammed then said that, once back in the car, M A sat with the victim in the back seat and asked A A, who was in the passenger seat, to help him to strangle the 21-year-old.

A A was hesitant but then M A started yelling that the victim was related to a man who caused the death of their other cousin, according to the defendants’ statements to police.

While Y B was driving, the cousins then pulled the seatbelt from both ends around N N’s neck until he died.

On arrival in another valley, the cousins wrapped their victim’s body in the fabric covering the car seats, then doused him in petrol and set him alight before dumping him.

The alarm was raised when the victim’s father reported his son missing at Al Rashidiya police station. He was last seen at his home on October 27.

“We started to investigate and discovered that the last time he was seen he was with the three defendants,” said Maj Mohammed.

When suspicion grew that a crime had taken place, the three were arrested.

During questioning, the defendants confessed. However, despite the confessions, all three denied charges of murder.

Y B, the oldest defendant, said he did not participate in the killing because he was driving the car, but that he helped the cousins to dump the body and get rid of the victim’s possessions.

His lawyer asked Maj Mohammed if, in his opinion, it was possible for his client to have prevented the crime. Maj Mohammed said he could not know the answer to that question.

Before the hearing started, a fist fight broke out between the two cousins.

The victim’s relatives and lawyer have requested that all three accused receive the death sentence. The case was adjourned to a date yet to be set.

hdajani@thenational.ae