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I love my children: Wudeema’s father says

Father tells packed court he respects judgment, even death

Image Credit: Supplied
A file photo of Wudeema
Gulf News

Dubai: An Emirati father, charged with torturing his eight-year-old daughter, Wudeema, to death, told a court on Sunday that his love for his children is what made him confess before prosecutors.

When they first stood trial before the Dubai Court of First Instance, the 29-year-old father, Hamad S., and his 27-year-old Emirati girlfriend, Al Onoud A., denied the charge of confining Hamad’s two daughters in a flat and torturing and beating eight-year-old Wudeema to death.

After prosecutors and defence lawyers heard the closing arguments in courtroom seven, Hamad requested Presiding Judge Maher Salama Al Mahdi for permission to address the court: “I would like to counter the prosecutors’ argument that I confessed to the accusations during questioning. I love my children and because I love them I confessed to the charges. I don’t want my newborn baby Soud to be raised inside prison.

“I did that as a gesture of good intention because I want my children to be raised outside prison. So how could I be accused of hating my children? I respect the justice system and would wholeheartedly accept any judgment even a death sentence.”

The judge asked the court’s secretary Ali Salem Al Zadjali to write down in the hearing’s minutes: “Hamad loved his children and he confessed to his charges during prosecution questioning because he didn’t want them to be raised inside jail.”

During Sunday’s trial, Al Onoud was not brought from her detention to attend the trial that started at 9am. Unofficial news spread that the female suspect failed to come to court due to her newborn’s illness.

However Presiding Judge Al Mahdi called for a recess and ordered jail wardens to bring Al Onoud.

Around 12.30pm, the judge reconvened the hearing after the two defendants were present. A policewoman was spotted carrying Al Onoud’s baby boy outside the courtroom.

Dubai Attorney-General Essam Eisa Al Humaidan led a high-profile team of prosecutors and legal advisors from Dubai Public Prosecution that attended the hearing. A fleet of reporters and lawyers and members from the public also were present during the hearing that lasted nearly an hour.

Meanwhile five policemen were spotted surrounding Hamad while he stood inside the dock while the court was in session.

A judgment will be heard on February 13.