Winter murder case witnesses left UAE, court told

Case adjourned until October 10 to cross-check with Dubai Residency and Foreign Affairs Department

The two witnesses in Kerry Winter murder case have left the country, the court heard on Sunday.

Asghar Khan, driver with the company where Mark Arnold, who is accused of killing his ex-girlfriend, worked, left the country on November 11, 2008. And the second witness, Morris Wibros, the compnay's Logistics Director, cancelled his visa on February 19, 2008, according to a letter from the Dubai Residency and Foreign Affairs Department, read out by Presiding Judge of the Dubai Court of Appeal.

Following a request made by the defence lawyer Yousuf Khalifa Hammad to hear the second witness, the court asked Dubai Prosecution to check once again with the Dubai Residency and Foreign Affairs Department if Wibros was still in the country.

The case has been adjourned until October 10 for the department's response.

Hammad had asked for the two witnesses even in the previous hearing.

Meanwhile, Arnold has been awarded 15-year jail term for premeditated murder.  “The First Instance Court based its verdict on testimonies of the two affirmative witnesses, which they made before the prosecution and in which they testified that had offered their services to the accused without knowing his intentions of killing his girlfriend.

According to the prosecution sheet, Arnold asked Morris Wibros to buy him a device for tracking people to trace Winter. Wibros, in his testimony, said he was shocked as to why Arnold needed the device but never asked him the question. He added that Arnold had aso asked him to buy a big cloth sac, a water-proof bag and 10 pieces of weight.

Morris also submitted the bills of purchases, which prove the things were bought just days prior to the allged crime. The accused also requested his company for a car with tinted glass, which he used to follow the victim. And a day before the crime, the accused asked both Morris and Asghar Khan to follow him in their cars and wait for Winter.
 
"I wonder how the prosecution is making the excuse that the address is not clear, Hammad told 'Emirates 24|7'.“The Court of First Instance has given great value and weight to the testimonies of these two affirmative witnesses for making its verdict. I find loopholes in their testimonies, and I have the right to argue their testimonies in light of that,” he added.

"The affirmative witnesses should be heard and questioned by the court and the defence lawyer,” said Hammad.

Meanwhile, in the previous hearing the court had turned down a request made by Hussain Al Jaziri, the blood guardian lawyer, to refer the case back to the Prosecution to include the accusation sheet.

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