Drivers jailed 5 years over beating Indian bootlegger to death in Dubai

Defendants claimed heated argument developed into physical fight

By Bassam Za’za’, Legal and Court Correspondent
17:13 May 8, 2013

Dubai: Two drivers who beat up a bootlegger with their hands and a wooden stick and then killed him after consuming alcohol, have been jailed for five years each.

Although the Pakistani defendants denied beataing the Indian bootlegger with a wooden stick but admitted beating him with their hands, the Dubai Court of First Instance convicted them of assaulting the victim and causing his death.

“We did not beat him with a wooden stick. We consumed liquor and had a fight because he thought we wanted to turn him in to the police,” claimed one of the accused, 41-year-old A.S., when he entered a plea in court.

Prosecutors accused A.S. and his 30-year-old countryman, M.A., with assaulting the bootlegger, K.K., and killing him by hitting him on his head with a wooden stick on his head. They beat him with their hands as well.

When presiding judge Maher Salama Al Mahdi asked the defendants what caused the victim’s death considering that they did not use the stick, A.S. said: “We consumed liquor together. We had a heated argument that developed into a fight. We beat him with our hands because he cursed us. We did not intend to kill him.”

Al Mahdi said the defendants will be deported after serving their punishments.

Court records said an Indian blacksmith saw the victim bleeding on the street before he called Jebel Ali police.

An Emirati policeman said the victim was still alive and in a coma when he was rushed to hospital.

“His identity remained unknown for a few days and we asked the hospital management to inform us if any person visited him. Four days later we arrested a person who visited him. The person identified the victim and claimed that he was a bootlegger. The person claimed that one of the defendants saw him in the same spot where they used to buy liquor and informed him that the victim was admitted to hospital,” claimed the policeman. Police identified the defendants and arrested them one at a time.

During questioning, the defendants alleged that they quarrelled over buying liquor.

The defendants were cited admitting to prosecutors that they only beat K.K. with their hands and didn’t use a stick.

Wednesday’s judgement remains subject to appeal within 15 days.