Dubai: Three men have been accused of fatally stabbing a barber following a heated argument in the Naif area of Dubai while the trio had been out drinking.
The three suspects, two unemployed Emiratis and a 21-year-old Pakistani carpenter, were said to have been consuming liquor in an open area in January when the Pakistani barber approached them and asked them if they were selling alcohol.
Records showed that the barber himself was heavily drunk and got into a heated argument with one of the Emirati suspects that soon turned into a physical fight.
The three suspects are believed to have assaulted the barber, who sustained stab wounds to his stomach and thighs and succumbed to his injuries at the scene.
Police were alerted about the crime and primary interrogations led to the arrest of the three suspects one after the other.
During police interrogation, the carpenter alleged that one of the Emiratis had sought to have sex with him but, when he refused, the latter attacked him with a knife.
Prosecutors charged the trio of murdering the barber and resorting to physical violence.
One of the Emiratis, aged 27, was accused of attempting to rape the carpenter under coercion and at knifepoint. Records said the capenter foiled the attempted sexual assault and fled after he was stabbed in a leg.
The three suspects pleaded not guilty and denied the murder charge before the Dubai Court of First Instance on Sunday.
The 27-year-old Emirati suspect also denied the accusation of having tried to rape the capenter at knifepoint.
A Pakistani barber testified before prosecutors that the incident took place when he had gone along with his coworker — who was killed — to buy alcohol from behind a hotel in Naif at 12.30am.
“My coworker had a heated argument with one of the bootleggers over the price of a bottle, the bootlegger immediately ran away. My coworker then walked towards a group of men and asked them if they were selling liquor, I overheard one of them speaking to him in Arabic. Then my coworker and that person had a heated argument that developed into a fight. My coworker was stabbed by a number of men and dropped motionless on the ground while the assaulters fled. I borrowed a pedestrian’s mobile phone and called the police,” the barber told prosecutors.
A police lieutenant testified before prosecutors that investigations at the crime scene pointed to the involvement of the trio in the deadly knife attack.
“We apprehended them one at a time. During questioning, they alleged that they had a heated argument with the victim and assaulted him. The carpenter also claimed that the 27-year-old tried to rape him and stabbed him with a knife when he resisted him,” the lieutenant testified.
The court will appoint lawyers to defend the suspects when it reconvenes on April 9.