Killer housemaid must die: Victims' relatives

Maid's lawyer offers diya, demands acquittal; says she was defending herself

The relatives of a woman and her little daughter murdered by her Ethiopian housemaid in Ras Al Khaimah are insisting on the death penalty after rejecting diya while the maid’s lawyer asked for acquittal on the grounds the maid committed her crime in self defence.

After hearing the case on Wednesday, the criminal court in the emirate decided to issue its sentence on August 3, newspapers reported on Thursday.

The court had resumed trial after medicals tests showed the 23-year-old maid was not suffering from any mental problems when she stabbed her Moroccan employer 117 times and set the mother and her baby on fire. She then stole her employer’s jewelry and fled to Sharjah, where she was captured by police.

The maid, identified as S. Burhanu, attacked her employer with a kitchen knife in May following an argument during which the 35-year-old Moroccan woman threatened to expel the maid. She stabbed her more than 70 times before she turned her upside down and continue stabbing her in the back.

 She then dragged her employer into the bedroom and set her on fire while her 30-month-old daughter was sleeping. The Moroccan woman succumbed to her wounds and burns while her baby died of asphyxia.

The maid had confessed to police that she killed the mother and her daughter and that she locked the burning bed room before fleeing with some jewelry to Sharjah, where she stayed at a friend.

Burhanu had come to the UAE in 2009 and worked for two different families before absconding to Ras Al-Khaimah, where she was employed by the victim for just one week.

“During the trial yesterday, the victim’s husband insisted on the death penalty against the maid….his lawyer told court that the maid murdered her employer without any justification as she had no dispute with her,” the Dubai-based Emirat Al youm newspaper said.

But defence lawyer Ramzi Al Ajouz countered by saying the maid attacked her employer after the Moroccan woman tried to cut off the maid’s tongue with a knife following an argument. He said the woman also punched the maid in the chest, prompting her to clutch the knife and defend herself.

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