Dubai:An Emirati father, accused of torturing his eight-year-old daughter to death and injuring her seven-year-old sister in an alleged exorcism bid, was described as a man who loved and cared for his daughters in court yesterday (Wednesday).
The 29-year-old father, Hamad S., and his 27-year-old Emirati girlfriend, Al Onoud A., are being prosecuted before the Dubai Court of First Instance for illegally holding the two girls in a flat, torturing eight-year-old Wudeema to death and injuring seven-year-old Meera.
Meera sustained 10 per cent permanent disability.
Hamad’s brother testified in court that his niece [Meera] told him it was Al Onoud who constantly beat and tortured them.
The court also heard from Hamad’s ex-wife, who claimed both Hamad and his girlfriend tortured the children.
Hamad’s brother told the judge that Meera claimed their father treated them well and loved and cared for them.
Citing Meera, the uncle claimed Hamad did not abuse or torture them, and that it was Al Onoud who was responsible.
He also told the court their father loved them and bought them an iPad.
The uncle also d the court how Meera said they were constantly electrocuted and tortured with an iron.
The court heard they were also left without proper food and left to sleep on the floor.
Al Onoud also used to stub out cigarettes on their palms, according to his testimony.
The court also heard how Meera told her uncle that the suspects claimed Wudeema had died and they had buried her.
The girls’ mother stated that she married Hamad in 2002 and they divorced four years later. She claimed the court granted her daughters’ custody to Hamad’s mother.
She testified before the judge that Meera claimed her father and his girlfriend beat and tortured them — contradicting the uncle’s earlier testimony that the girlfriend was the only one who abused them.
In his statement before the judge, the girls’ uncle also testified that he co-operated with police to arrest his brother.
He said that on the night of discovery of the incident, he headed to Hamad’s flat and opened the door and freed Meera after he heard her cries for help.
“I took Meera to her mother and thereafter we went and complained to the police about our findings,” claimed the uncle.
The mother further admitted before the court that she never knew that her daughter was allegedly being tortured and abused.
During Wednesday’s hearing a forensic doctor, who examined Wudeema’s body, told the court that due to the decomposition of the corpse ‘it was impossible to specify the real and main causes of the death’.
He stated that Meera had a fractured arm due to beating or because her arm was twisted backwards.
Meera’s body bore signs of electrocution and burns on her legs which were caused by a hot iron and/or stubbing of cigarettes on her feet, testified the doctor.
Senior Chief Prosecutor Mohammad Ali Rustom, Head of Family and Juveniles Prosecution, asked the court to hand the suspects capital punishment.
“The couple detached themselves from any sort of humanity and mercy when they tortured the girls. The girls were locked up in the flat where they were tortured and burnt and left without food. We have asked the court to implement the Federal Penal Code’s article 344. The article stipulates that a suspect could face capital punishment or life imprisonment if he/she locks up a victim against his/her will and the confinement leads to the victim’s death,” Dubai’s Attorney-General Essam Eisa Al Humaidan told a media conference earlier.
They are also accused of hiding Wudeema’s body by burying it without obtaining proper permission.
In an earlier hearing, Hamad told the court: “I did not torture Wudeema to death. I took Meera to Rashid Hospital to treat her broken arm. I didn’t torture her. I did not confine them, but I used to take them out.”
Meanwhile Al Onoud previously surprised the court when she contended: “Hamad did not do anything to the girls. I beat and tortured them with hot water, electric wire, an iron. I electrocuted them with the taser gun.”
“I was present with Hamad when he buried Wudeema,” claimed Al Onoud, who is believed to be pregnant.
Hamad admitted that he buried his dead daughter in Al Badayer area in Sharjah.