UAE: MAJOR RELIEF FOR 17 INDIANS; COURT QUASHES DEATH SENTENCES
July 5, 2014: Seventeen Indians, who were sentenced to death in UAE in March this year, received a big reprieve ahead of the New Year when an appeals court judge overturned their sentences.
âItâs going to be hard for this court to uphold a death sentence for any of the suspects on this evidence,ââ Judge Abdullah Yousef al Shamsi said after hearing evidence from two police officers at the Sharjah Court of Appeals.
ââFor every lawyerâs question they have replied, âWe donât knowâ, or âWe donât have it,ââ the judge said, according to the âNationalâÂ daily.
He set aside the death sentences on the Indians, who had been convicted of murdering a Pakistani, when a representative of the deceasedâs family said they would accept financial compensation.
There was jubilation among them in the dock when a translator told them the judgeâs decision. Judge al Shamsi asked guards toÂ take them away and let them celebrate in their cells.
The Indians were found guilty in March of beating Misri Nazir Khan to death and injuring three others during a fight over bootlegged alcohol in the Saaja industrial area of Sharjah in January 2009.Â
The counsel for 16 of the 17 Indians also welcomed the ruling. Another defence lawyer Hannah al Shahba criticised the lack of concrete evidence against them. ââA death sentence is too big for 17 people without enough evidence,ââ she said.
ââIf this sentence had not been overturned, it would have givenÂ a bad reputation to the judicial system.ââ
Seventeen Indians, on a death row in the UAE for killing a Pakistani man had turned down an offer to pay blood money under a proposed settlement to escapeÂ the noose, claiming they were innocent. Blood money is paid to the next of kin of a murder victim as a fine.
The convicted Indians spurned a proposal to settle the case by paying blood compensation to the family of the Pakistani man, who was hacked to death in Sharjah in a brawl to sell illicit liquor.
The lawyer of the Indians, Ms Bindu Suresh Chettur said âthe family of the Pakistani man told the court that they were ready to accept compensation including blood money but we refused because justice is on our side.â (Sources: navhindtimes.in, 06/ 07/2014)