Dubai: A man who was accused of accidentally causing a woman’s death in a shisha fire in Dubai, has been acquitted by Dubai Court of Appeal.
According to lawyer Bader Khamis, who represents the 37-year-old defendant, the Dubai Court of Cassation ordered to return the case to the Appeals Court for retrial after his client was handed a one-year suspended jail sentence and Dh200,000 in blood money in the initial verdict.
A final verdict in the case was issued earlier this month and the defendant was acquitted by Dubai Court of Appeal.
According to Dubai Public Prosecution records, the 37-year-old defendant was smoking shisha with his female friend in a ‘majlis’ at a country house in the Lehbab area, when flying ash from a shisha left outside the ‘majlis’ caused a fire, blocking the exit in front of the duo.
How the mishap happened
The man told Dubai Criminal Court that he had been to the country farm in March last year with his friend and asked a worker there to set up the coal for shisha. The shisha coal was placed two metres away from the majlis door, where the sofas were placed. The pair smoked shisha for about 45 minutes before the defendant suddenly noticed flames outside the ‘majlis’.
“I yelled out to her [the friend] and told her to escape, as I jumped over the flames to safety. However, she didn’t follow me as she was afraid and stayed inside,” the defendant said on record. “I tried to extinguish the fire with the workers there, using buckets of water, but we failed as the blaze spread all over the ‘majlis’.”
Medical report showed that the victim had died from inhaling the smoke and had also suffered burn injuries while still inside the ‘majlis’. Reports confirmed that there was no foul-play behind the death.
“We appealed the verdict as my client is innocent. The wind factor had caused the blaze. The defendant had tried to rescue the woman and even urged her to leave the place quickly, but she was frightened and hesitated,” Bader Khamis from World Center Advocates and Legal said in his defence arguments.