Dispute over a woman leads to death sentence

The sentence was already upheld twice by the Abu Dhabi Court of Appeals (GETTY IMAGES)

The court of cassation has upheld the death sentence for an Emirati who killed his friend in 2009.

The sentence was already upheld twice by the Abu Dhabi Court of Appeals. Now President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, must approve the ruling for the execution order to be carried out, reported 'The National'.

AS, was 19 years old when he shot and killed his classmate, RAS, 17, in a dispute over a woman in Musala Al Eid in Abu Dhabi on Januray 19, 2009. 

The two men met on the day of the killing near Marina Mall where they were joined by a female Emirati friend and two other male friends. Then they drove towards the Musala Al Eid area when AS pointed a gun at the female friend, who ran away. He followed her and convinced her he was joking. When she returned, AS shot RAS in the back of the head.

AS claimed he fired in self-defence after RAS pulled out a pocketknife.

Defence lawyers denied the killing was premeditated and questioned the woman’s integrity as a witness. The lawyers also argued that their client should not receive the death sentence because the main witness was a woman and her testimony was insufficient because Islamic law required two male witnesses, or at least one male and two females, in murder cases.

“The testimony of women is not acceptable when it comes to blood,” one of the man’s two lawyers told the Abu Dhabi Criminal Court of First Instance in August 2009.

Meanwhile, “it is very hard, extremely hard,” a sister of AS said yesterday. “We think this is an injustice. The victim had a knife and they disregarded that completely.”

She said her brother had been armed because he was worried he would be confronted with a weapon.

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