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Media, public opinion already condemned Wudeema’s father: lawyer

Defence team seeking acquittal or leniency against suspects

Image Credit: Supplied
Eight-year-old Wudeema, who was allegedly tortured by her father andaccomplice with a hot iron and electric prods.
Gulf News

Dubai: The Emirati father, accused of torturing his daughter Wudeema to death, was condemned and punished by the media and the public ahead of the court, his lawyer defended on Sunday.

The 29-year-old father, Hamad S., and his 27-year-old Emirati girlfriend (who claims to be his wife), Al Onoud A., deny the charges of illegally confining Hamad’s two daughters in a flat, torturing eight-year-old Wudeema to death and injuring seven-year-old Meera.

“It looks like the media and the public opinion judged Hamad and issued their sentence against him before the Dubai Court of First Instance did. Neither a sane nor an insane person would commit the crime in the way prosecutors described it on the accusation sheet. Prosecutors did not provide the court with sharp and corroborated evidence,” contended Hamad’s lawyer Khalid Al Jasmi in courtroom seven.

The father did not illegally confine his daughters in his flat but he kept them in his custody after a Dubai sharia court granted him the custodianship of his girls, argued Al Jasmi.

“Since the case surfaced, my client did not deny beating his daughters. On the contrary, he admitted that he beat them as a disciplinary procedure. He did not have any intention to kill Wudeema or injure Meera. Moreover the other defendant [Al Onoud] provided the court with a written confession and in which she bluntly confessed that she did everything,” defended Al Jasmi.

The lawyer claimed before Presiding Judge Maher Salama Al Mahdi that Hamad was under the influence of Tramadol and which made him unaware of his actions and behaviour at the time of the incident.

Al Jasmi also contended that the forensic examiner failed to specify the main cause of the death of Wudeema, whose body was recovered six months after she died.

Meanwhile Hamdi Al Sheewi, Al Onoud’s lawyer, argued that his client did not confine or kidnap the girls.

“Prosecutors are seeking to implement a capital punishment against the defendants as per article 344 of the Penal Code. As part of our defence, we counter that argument because it is inapplicable in this case. The father had the girls’ custody upon a sharia court order. Hence the girls were not illegally confined in the flat. There is a third and major suspect, who was not been impeached or prosecuted in this case… it is the mother. She should be listed as a defendant and prosecuted for negligence,” contended Al Sheewi.

This case exposed gruesome details and discloses actions that not even an animal would commit against its children, he added.

“Prosecutors failed to produce strongly-corroborated evidence against my client, particularly after the forensic doctor failed to specify the main cause of Wudeema’s death. The sole sharp evidence in this case was Meera’s statement. Meanwhile the psychologist, who examined Meera, mentioned that she feared going back to live with her father… but she didn’t mention anything about Al Onoud. That proves that my client did not torture her. On the contrary, Hamad himself admitted during prosecution questioning that my client played a role in calming him down,” defended Al Sheewi.

He further asked Presiding Judge Al Mahdi to disregard Al Onoud’s confession before the court “because she was not having a proper and stable state of mind.”

Lawyers Al Sheewi and Al Jasmi asked the court to acquit their clients or grant them leniency.

A judgment will be given on February 13.