UAE hands down death sentence to five foreigners for murder
An Emirati court has sentenced five people to death who had been convicted in the first-degree murder and robbery of a businessman whose body was discovered in a refrigerator, state-run media reported.
The criminal court in Ajman, a small, dusty emirate in the United Arab Emirates, delivered the rare sentence Tuesday to five foreigners in the country who allegedly stabbed the expat businessman to death and stole over $29,600 from his home in the city-state, the Dubai government-owned Al-Bayan newspaper reported.
The report did not name the defendants or specify their nationalities, but identified them as five expatriate Asians, aged between 21 and 39. The businessman was also identified as Asian. It was not immediately clear when the crime or ensuing trial and conviction took place.
It also was not immediately clear if the defendants had legal representation.
Police said they found the businessman’s body in his refrigerator after friends reported him missing. The defendants, authorities said, had rented an apartment in the victim’s building, ultimately crawling through an air-conditioning vent to break into his home.
Police caught three of the accused killers as they tried to flee the country, scooping them up from a plane idling on the runway about to take off, the report added. Authorities said the defendants confessed to the crime during interrogations.
The court verdict likely can be appealed.
While UAE law allows for the death penalty in certain cases, capital punishment is rarely carried out. The last-known executions were in 2011 and 2014, against two men convicted of murder. Attacks against foreigners are also unusual in the UAE, which is home to the popular tourist destination of Dubai and where expatriates far outnumber Emirati citizens.