Dubai: The Dubai Court of First Instance on Wednesday sentenced to death an Emirati man accused of raping and murdering a four-year-old boy in a mosque’s washroom on Eid Al Adha last year.
Chief Prosecutor Yousuf Foulaz had asked the three-member jury to hand down the toughest punishment applicable – the capital punishment, against the 30-year-old, R.R.R. The jury unanimously sentenced R.R.R. to capital punishment, plus six months in jail, Presiding Judge Fahmi Mounir said while pronouncing the verdict.
Click here to see a timeline of death sentences in the UAE
Minutes after the verdict, R.R.R. told Gulf News, through a third party source, that he was expecting the death sentence and that it was destined that he faces this from God.
After the verdict was pronounced, the Pakistani father of the four-year-old rape-murder victim burst into tears, along with his other son, five-year-old Mustafa.
The family had been sitting patiently on the fourth bench of the left row with tearful eyes, waiting for the verdict to be read out.
Earlier, Judge Mounir walked in to the packed courtroom soon after 9am along with his deputies; Judges Dr Ali Galadar and Mansour Al Awadhi, and announced that the court was in session.
As the session drew to an end, Judge Mounir asked the jail wardens to bring in R.R.R. to hand out the verdict. The jail guards brought in R.R.R., wearing a white prison dress, into the dock at around 10am. The verdict was pronounced at 10.07am.
The case attracted unprecedented and huge media and public interest since it happened last November. Psychiatric experts testified that although the suspect is a paedophile obsessed with boys, he is stable and sane.
The ruling is subject to appeal within 15 days.
Death sentence is destiny, says rapist
Soon after Presiding Judge Fahmi Mounir read out that 30-year-old Emirati R.R. would have to die for the rape and murder of the Pakistani boy, Mousa, in a washroom of a mosque, the accused, dressed in white prison clothes, asked a law enforcement officer for a Winston cigarette.
"I was expecting the death sentence. If this is God's will then so be it," R.R. told the law enforcement officer.
The accused, who had his head down as he heard that he would be executed, said he would appeal the verdict. According to UAE laws, the public prosecution automatically appeals a death sentence which is then upheld or overturned by the highest court.
R.R. was arrested soon after he raped and killed the boy on November 27, the day of Eid Al Adha.
Jail guards escorted the accused into the dock at 10.03am, and Judge Mounir read out the verdict two minutes later.
"The Dubai Court of First Instance has concluded that this is a murder associated with rape" said the judge in courtroom four, which has been witness to this high-profile case for the past six weeks.
"While assessing the judgment, the jury found no reason for leniency because the accused did not have mercy for the boy's innocence or age. He killed him in cold blood. The jury finds him guilty beyond doubt."
The victim's father wept and caressed his five-year-old son, Mustafa's, face.
Not a single lawyer was willing to defend R.R. when he was charged with the crime because of its heinous nature, until advocate Mohammad Al Sa'adi took up the case, saying justice had to be served and he would play his part in defending the accused. However, on Wednesday he was conspicuous by his absence.
R.R. was also sentenced six months in jail for being under the influence of liquor when he raped the child. The accused had earlier served time in jail for two other sex offences.
The family of the accused said they have faith in the judicial system. "If he was not my stepbrother I would say he deserves it and I don't think he will ever change," his stepsister told Gulf News.
"When I heard the death sentence I felt that Mousa had got justice. If it was in my hands, as a father I would have stoned him to death because of the pain my son must have gone through," Mukhtar Khuda Baksh, the father of the victim, said.
- January 27: Court unanimously finds R.R.R. guilty and hands out the capital punishment plus six months in jail
- January 13: Court is told psychiatric tests conclude that although defendant R.R. is mentally stable and sane he is a paedophile obsessed with young boys.
- January 3: R.R. is ordered to undergo psychiatric evaluation as requested by the Defence.
- December 30: Court adjourns after hearing witnesses’ statements, including a tearful testimony by the boy's father, who demanded the court hand out capital punishment.
- December 23: R.R. initially retracted his confession, only to admit committing the crime later. His lawyers refuse to defend him in court due to the nature of the crime, advocate Mohammad Al Sa’adi volunteers to take up the case. The prosecution asks the court to implement death sentence.
- December 1: Police arrest and charge Emirati suspect, R.R., 30, who confessed to the sexual assault and murder of the boy.
- November 27: Four-year-old Pakistani boy M.M. is found raped and murdered in the toilet of a mosque in Al Qusais.