The two prisoners were visitors to the UAE in 2001 when they yielded to the lure of a life of crime. Image Credit: Gulf News

Dubai: Two prisoners at Dubai Central Jail who are on death row for a murder they committed in 2001 are to be deported after being pardoned by relatives of their victim.

Serji Alexander Doboni from Russia who was 21 at the time of the crime and Sefiri Andre, an Ukrainian, will be freed after the Dubai Public Prosection technical office agreed to waive their death sentence after they were pardoned by the parents of the victim.

“I contacted my mother back home. I have my mother and my sister in Russia and I told them that I will be released and go back home,” Doboni said.

“I regret what I did. It was evil behaviour. I was young and careless. This is the lesson of my life. I just want to be with my mother. My father passed away during the time I have been in jail,” Doboni, who is 33 now, told Gulf News on Thursday.

Public prosecutors confimed both the inmates were due to be released and deported.

A remorseful Doboni recalls the day of the crime with sadness, saying he and Andre did not intend to kill their victim, a salesman at a jewellery store. “I came to the UAE on a visit visa to look for a job. I used to live here with my parents when I was a child. Andre, who is now 41, and I were arrested in Sharjah shortly after we committed the crime,” he said.

The murder was committed at a jewellery store at the Dubai Gold Souq in July, 2001. The victim bled to death from four slash wounds to his throat besides other wounds to the back of the head.

Doboni had found work at the shop but was not on the company’s sponsorship as he and his partner were in the UAE on visit visas at the time.

Doboni and Andre confessed to committing the murder during a robbery attempt. They salesman died after being attacked with a sharp implement when he called for help.

Doboni and Andre who were facing capital punishment approached the Dubai Court of First Instance in 2010 to reconsider the verdict in view of a waiver they had obtained from the parents of the murdered salesman. Both handed court written waivers obtained from the parents of the Indian salesman. Their lawyer submitted a written request to reduce his clients’ punishment after the parents of the victim dropped their complaint against them. The written request stated that the family of the salesman had collected Dh150,000 in blood money — the amount set at the time to waive the sentence.

“We forgive Serji Alexander Doboni and Sefiri Andre and we hold no grudge against them. We pardon them forever. This is to certify that we only collected the blood money amount and nothing else,” said the written waiver.

The convicts submitted their plea based on Article 332 of the Federal Penal Code, which stipulates that a court can hand out a one-year imprisonment [minimum] in case a premeditated murder convict obtains a waiver from the parents of the victim.