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Appeal court upholds death penalty of boy’s killer

Abu Dhabi appellate court convicts boy’s uncle of raping and killing him; case will now go to apex court

Image Credit: Supplied
The CCTV footage of the accused leaving the boy’s building disguised as a woman in May 2017.
Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi Criminal Court of Appeal on Tuesday upheld the death sentence awarded to a Pakistani man who raped and killed his 11-year-old nephew in the emirate.

Earlier, the Criminal Court of First Instance had awarded death sentence to the man. The body of the boy was found on the rooftop of his building on May 31, 2017, a day after he went missing.

The appellate court also ordered the convict to pay the blood money of Dh200,000 to the family.

The convict, who was termed by the Public Prosecution as “a wild beast”, was identified as Mohsen Bilal, 34, from Pakistan.

The Presiding Judge of the Court of Appeal, in his judgement, said, “Mohsen Bilal was found guilty on counts of raping and killing and the court awards him the death penalty and a blood money [payment] of Dh200,000.”

“The accused was found guilty on all counts — of wearing an abaya [to disguise his identity], driving a car without a number plate and raping and strangling the boy with a rope,” the judge said.

The boy’s father, Russian mother and grandfather were present in the court. They expressed their satisfaction at the appeal court’s ruling.

Speaking to Gulf News after the judgement, the boy’s father, Dr Majid Janjua, said, “We are satisfied with the ruling against the criminal. This is what we were expecting. The accused has been changing his statements but nothing worked. He lied on all counts,” the father said.

They hoped that a similar judgement would be handed out when the case reaches the apex court.

The boy, Azan Majid Janjua, went missing on May 30 last year after he left home to go to the mosque for Asr prayers.

The Court of First Instance found the man guilty in November 2017 on the charges of rape and murder and sentenced him to death and the payment of Dh200,000 in blood money.

According to records, witnesses said they saw the boy leaving the mosque but he never reached home. His body was found the next morning on the rooftop of the building by some AC technicians repairing a malfunctioning unit.

“His body was half-naked and a copy of the Quran was lying beside him,” Dr Janjua had told the police.

The mother, who used to visit her son in Abu Dhabi, was in the city when the tragedy occurred.

On August 8, the first trial of the case began at the Abu Dhabi Criminal Court where the accused denied the charges of raping and killing the boy. As the case progressed, the defence lawyer appointed by the court claimed that his client was mentally and psychologically unfit at the time of the crime. But medical examination reports presented to the court proved him to be mentally and psychologically fit.

The accused blamed the Public Prosecution of fabricating evidence against him, but the CCTV footage and forensic evidence proved his involvement in the crime.

Azan was Dr Janjua’s first son born to his first wife whom he had met while studying medicine in Russia. Azan, who was also a Russian national, lived with his mother in Russia for sometime.

As part of a mutual agreement between his parents, Azan started living with his father around two-and-a-half years before his death.