Mercy sought for journalist who killed wife - GulfToday

Mercy sought for journalist who killed wife

Dubai-courts

The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

Hamza M Sengendo, Staff Reporter

A lawyer defending a European journalist convicted of killing his wife following a spate of wrangles entreated the Appeals Court for leniency on Wednesday.

The defendant, 61, had a dispute with his wife, 62, over her refusal to relocate from their villa in Jumeirah to an apartment. She went to bed. He suddenly hammered her twice on Jul.4, 2017.

He denied murder. His lawyer cited relentless provocation. The Criminal Court jailed him for ten years plus deportation over manslaughter. He sought leniency. Prosecutors sought a tougher penalty.

The Appeals Court convicted him of premeditated murder and jailed him for 15 years. Lawyers challenged the ruling. The Cassation Court ordered the case be heard afresh by a new Appeals Court panel.

The defendant has spent two years in the dock. On Wednesday, his lawyer Ali Al Shamsi said one of the only two legal heirs of the deceased, who had refused to drop charges, passed away recently.

The deceased’s father who was her legal heir after her son, died in March this year. The son on the other hand had already dropped charges against his father and waived his private rights in the case.

“When a legal heir waives his or her private right, the sentence expected to be issued based on the public right of the law is almost up to two years,” said Musaab Al Naqbi, the defendant’s second lawyer.

Al Shamsi stressed that the justifications of the lower court for its 15-year-sentence against his client were not sufficient to establish a presence of a motive to kill at the time of the incident. 

“For this reason the higher court ordered the case be returned to a new panel of appeal judges for a new trial,” he said, adding that he intended to hit her but did not have any motive to end her life.

Al Shamsi beseeched the Dubai Appeals Court to exercise utmost leniency towards his client by issuing a verdict releasing him and considering the two-year term he has been behind bars as sufficient.

In prosecution records, the defendant landed in debts and tried to convince his wife they should relocate to a flat because the villa’s rent was high. They wrangled. She pushed him while calling him a failure.

In a fit of rage, he grabbed a hammer and hit her. He scattered items, shoved clothes and flipped a safe. At around 5.15pm he contacted the police that robbers murdered his wife. Hearing continues on Sept.4.