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Family pardons man who killed mother in Sharjah

Accused in the case suffers from a debilitating mental illness

Gulf News

Sharjah: The Sharjah Sharia Court on Wednesday reserved its verdict into the brutal slaying of a woman by her son until December 19 after it was informed that the family had pardoned the 29-year-old defendant.

The trial was rescheduled after the victim’s family in Denmark pardoned the Emirati accused, identified as N.M.E.L. who suffers from a debilitating mental illness, family members contended in a letter to the court.

Hani Al Jassimi, the suspect’s lawyer, told Gulf News on Wednesday that he received a pardon letter from the family of the victim and he will submit it in the next court appearance.

The Emirati man standing trial earlier told the judge that his 50-year-old mother practised witchcraft and he had received a “divine message” to kill her, prompting the public prosecution to seek the death penalty for the heinous crime.

The court has since heard evidence that the defendant killed his mother at an apartment in Sharjah’s Al Mamzar area on June 7, 2015, slitting her throat and cutting out her tongue.

The slain woman was a Danish national of Lebanese origin identified as A.M.A.A.

The Sharjah Public Prosecution earlier received a medical report from Al Amal hospital confirming that the suspect is mentally ill and is not aware of his actions. The committee held the view that the suspect is not responsible for the murder of his mother.

The report also said that the suspect has a medical file in Denmark and he was treated there for psychological disorders but he did not complete his treatment.

A final verdict in the case is expected to be handed down at the next hearing, the prosecutor said.

The trial began on November 4 last year after the suspect asked Judge Hussain Al Assofi, presiding judge of the Sharjah Sharia Court, to hold closed hearings.

In earlier testimony, the defendant said his aunt had told him about his mother practising witchcraft and, upon searching his mother’s house, he claimed to have found material and papers related to black magic.

He then confronted his mother who, according to the defendant, admitted to practising witchcraft.

The accused told the prosecution that he covered her mouth as she slept and killed her. He told the prosecution that he was fully aware of what he did and had no regrets.

A prosecutor told Gulf News that the defendant continued staying in the apartment for days with the decomposed body.

The incident came to light when police were tipped off about a man brandishing a knife in a supermarket and refusing to pay for the items he had bought. When the police arrived and sought to see his identity documents, the man took them to the apartment where the police found the woman’s body. The police officers detected a foul smell emanating from the apartment and later discovered the partially decomposed body.

Judge Al Assofi ordered that the mental condition of the suspect at the time of the crime be assessed.

The court assigned a lawyer for the suspect but he declined legal help, asking the judge to try him under Sharia.

Similar case

The ongoing trial follows a similar but separate case in which a Sharjah court sentenced on November 21 a young Sudanese-American man to three years in jail for smashing his father’s head using a fire extinguisher and killing him. The accused will be deported after serving his jail term.

That verdict, pronounced by Judge Al Assoufi, found the man guilty of killing his father following an argument in the father’s shop.

Because the young man’s family had pardoned him, he avoided capital punishment and the need to pay blood money.

In court, the suspect’s uncle testified that his nephew received psychiatric treatment and has medical reports to prove it. There were no prior problems between the father and the son, the uncle said.