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Obaida’s killer boycotts second appeal hearing in a week

Newly court-appointed lawyer takes up case, agrees to represent convict before Appeal Court

Gulf News

Dubai: A man on death row for kidnapping, raping and killing an eight-year-old boy has refused to stand trial before the Dubai Appeal Court for the second time within a week.

The 49-year-old Jordanian, Nidal Eisa Abdullah, was convicted in August by the Dubai Court of First Instance that handed him the death sentence for kidnapping, raping and killing eight-year-old Jordanian, Obaida Sedqi, on May 20.

Last week the accused refused to be produced in court and this morning prison wardens also informed presiding judge Eisa Mohammad Al Sharif that Abdullah refused to stand trial.

Meanwhile the newly court-appointed lawyer, Ali Musabbeh Dahi, accepted representing Abdullah and asked presiding judge Al Sharif to adjourn the case to give him time to prepare his defence argument.

On October 9, the previously court-appointed lawyer, Omran Darwish, asked to be excused from defending the accused citing moral reasons.

The first time he appeared before the appellate court, Abdullah admitted that he killed Obaida but denied kidnapping and raping the victim.

During Sunday’s hearing, advocate Dahi told the court that he needed some time to read the case file and prepare his defence.

When asked by presiding judge Al Sharif if he needed to place any requests, Dahi explained that he has to study the case file first to be able to decide.

“The court reconvenes on October 23 for the defence lawyer to prepare his defence. Prosecutors will have to ensure that the defendant is present at the next hearing,” said the presiding judge.

The lawyer of Obaida’s family, Obaid Al Mazmi, was also present at the Appeal Court.

Al Mazmi had earlier lodged a civil lawsuit in which he is seeking Dh21,000 in temporary compensation against his clients’ emotional and moral damages.

Prosecutors accused Abdullah of kidnapping the boy on May 20 from his father’s garage in Sharjah and then raping and killing him in Al Mamzar. Abdullah admitted before the primary court that he raped and murdered Obaida but denied kidnapping the victim, who he said willingly sat with him in the car. He also admitted that he drank liquor and drove his vehicle under the influence of alcohol.

The last time the father saw Obaida alive was in Abdullah’s car at 5pm shortly before the latter decided to kidnap and rape the eight-year-old, said records,

The accused lured the boy to his car by offering to buy him a scooter, according to court records, and then he drove to Al Mamzar area where he committed the crime.