Dubai: The UAE is a country where justice is applied fairly among all individuals, even members of the ruling family, argued a lawyer in court as he sought the acquittal of his client of fatal beating.

“We live in a country that respects justice and enforces the law justly and impartially on everybody, unlike in other countries … laws herein are applicable even on a ruling family member and my client, who was sentenced by the primary court to five years, has been in jail since January. We are seeking to acquit him because the victim died of causes not related to the assault committed by my Emirati client,” the defendant’s lawyer Mahmoud Azab argued before the Dubai Appeal Court on Wednesday.

In May, the Dubai Court of First Instance sentenced the 30-year-old Emirati from a ruling family to five years in jail for assaulting his friend and being responsible for his death following a sudden heart attack.

The accused indulged in a heated argument and then assaulted physically his countryman friend in Al Barsha area in January.

During Wednesday’s hearing, presiding judge Saeed Salem Bin Sarm called the name of the jailed convict, who pleaded not guilty in courtroom 20.

“I beat him yes, but I did not and was not responsible for his demise. The assault did not cause the death,” the defendant argued before presiding judge Bin Sarm.

However, the accused pleaded guilty and confessed that he drove his vehicle under the influence of liquor.

During a 25-minute verbal argument, lawyer Azab defended: “My client did not have any intention to kill the victim or cause his death … the assault was mild and not severe to the level of causing the victim’s death. We ask the court to cancel the defendant’s conviction and overturn the five-year imprisonment. The forensic examination report was based on unscientific grounds and full of contradictions, unlike the consultative report that was submitted before the primary court. The latter was based on medical and scientific grounds as it concluded that the victim died of a heart seizure triggered by pressure and fear, and the cause of death wasn’t the assault. It was an indecisive and questionable result as the victim could have died of any cause other than the beating. Due to a lack of connection between the assault and the death and based on the legal formula of relativity (between death and causes) we ask the appellate court to dismiss the prosecutors’ appeal, cancel the five-year imprisonment and acquit the defendant.”

The UAE respects the law and justice and this is a land, according to Azab, “where everybody, even the defendant, who is a member of a ruling family, is treated equally regardless of who they are”.

As a secondary defence argument, lawyer Azab asked presiding judge Bin Sarm to refer the forensic examination report to a three-member expert committee to revise its content and conclusion and decide whether the beating led to the victim’s death.

Dubai Police’s forensic examination report confirmed that the victim succumbed to a fatal cardiac infarction that was triggered by high blood pressure and sudden fear. The civil lawsuit of the victim’s family was referred to the Dubai Civil Court.

A ruling will be heard in September.