Man cleared of premeditated murder of co-worker in 2008

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Dubai: A man has been acquitted of premeditatedly murdering his coworker, who was reported missing in 2008 before his decomposed body was found later in Jebel Ali Port in March 2011.

Citing unsubstantiated and weak evidence, the Dubai Court of First Instance cleared the 28-year-old Indian, M.F., of stabbing his countryman, R.S., to death with a kitchen knife.

M.F.’s lawyer, Mansour Al Mazmi of Bin Mes’har and Co Advocates, said before presiding judge Fahd Al Shamsi that his client had confessed to a crime he did not commit and the murder weapon’s whereabouts could not be established.

Records said M.F. left the UAE in 2010 when he was believed to be the primary suspect in the premeditated murder of R.S. He was arrested on his return at Sharjah International Airport in May 2014 and was subsequently referred to Dubai Prosecution.

Al Mazmi argued that M.F.’s confession before police interrogators was extracted under coercion.

He said Dubai Police misplaced the murder weapon that had been in their possession for more than three years.

“When prosecutors asked the police to produce the murder weapon, it took the police around six months to inform Dubai prosecutors that the weapon could have been lost while [moving] from one building to another,” Al Mazmi said.

The fact that the murder weapon [which is a decisive and very important piece of evidence] got lost should be the main factor in acquitting M.F.,” added the lawyer. “The knife was recovered at the crime scene… but police later informed prosecutors that the knife could have been lost while [moving] from one building to another,” Al Mazmi told the court.

Meanwhile M.F. had entered a not guilty plea and maintained that he did not commit the murder.

A police officer testified that the victim’s colleagues had informed the police during primary investigations that the two had been on bad terms. He also told the court that M.F. had confessed to the crime, which he said had occurred during a fight.

“The suspect had admitted that he and the victim had consumed alcohol before the fight in which R.S. was killed in the presence of one of their colleagues,” alleged the officer.

In his argument, Al Mazmi told the court that witnesses had given inconsistent and contradictory statements. He also claimed that prosecutors had provided insufficient evidence.

“The investigating prosecutor noticed while questioning my client that he was crying and [had] retracted his confession before the police. He also noticed that my client had bruises and injuries over his body… which verifies that he was beaten to [to get him to] confess. The prosecutor referred my client to Dubai Police’s forensic laboratory for a medical examination. The forensic examiner’s report confirmed that M.F. had been beaten. Besides, his confession before the police did not match what happened exactly at the alleged crime scene,” contended Al Mazmi.

Wednesday’s ruling remains subject to appeal within 15 days.