Dubai: Teen Who Killed 33-Yr-Old Appeals Life Sentence Lawyer Cites 'Self-Defence'

(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Published: Thu 13 Jun 2024, 5:08 PM

Last updated: Thu 13 Jun 2024, 10:04 PM

An Israeli teenager convicted of murder in Dubai is seeking to overturn his life sentence. Filing an appeal in court, his lawyer said the young man "acted in self-defence".

In January, the Dubai Court of First Instance found the 19-year-old visitor guilty of 'premeditatedly killing' a 33-year-old man outside a shisha café in Business Bay area in May 2023. The teen stabbed his compatriot to death with a knife, records show.

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The defence lawyer argued, however, that there was no "deliberate intent" behind the murder.

“My client was unfoundedly accused of preplanning and premeditatedly murdering the victim... H.Y. (the defendant) didn't have any deliberate intent to kill the victim," lawyer Massouma Al Sayegh of Dar Al Balagh Advocates said before the Dubai Appeal Court.

"The [victim] initiated the assault when he attacked my client with a chair, and the accused defended himself,” she said.

Besides the teenager, five of his friends were sentenced to 10 years in jail each for aiding and abetting. The six Israeli convicts shall be deported after serving their time.

How the incident started

The group was inside the shisha café when the victim and his friend arrived, according to documents that the defence lawyer submitted to the appellate court.

The victim was on his mobile outside the door when his friend walked in, spotted the 19-year-old defendant, and cursed his mother and sister, the lawyer said.

“The two quarrelled. Then the friend walked out, wanting to leave, while H.Y. and his companions followed him. The victim attacked my client with a chair in an attempt to prevent him from chasing the friend - but H.Y. defended himself and stabbed the victim to push him away,” said the lawyer, reiterating that the accused "didn't have any intention or premeditated intention to kill".

Less than 24 hours after the murder, the Dubai Police managed to track down and arrest the suspects.

It turned out the group knew the victim and his relatives, according to the primary judgment and prosecutors' findings - and the murder happened due to previous disputes and vengeance issues dating back to when they were in Israel.

Plot twist?

In what is believed to be a new twist in the case, lawyer Al Sayegh argued that the victim had been threatening to kill her client back home - a factor that forced H.Y. to come to Dubai to look for a job.

“He felt that his life was endangered, so he came here to escape from the victim's death threats. He was not aware that the victim had been chasing him, or that he was present in Dubai,” she told the court.

Supporting her defence argument, the lawyer cited her client's testimony during interrogation: "I didn't intend to premeditatedly kill him, but I was defending myself and pushing him away when he attacked me using the chair ... I wanted to fend him off".

Al Sayegh asked the appellate court to hand her client a 'reduced and lenient' punishment based on article 98 of the Penal Code, considering that he is under 21 years old.

“The accused was born on March 28, 2004 and as per the pertinent laws, the primary court should have considered his young age and handed him a reduced punishment!” she said.

The lawyer also argued that obtaining a weapon was something 'casual' in the client's culture, stressing that the young man didn't possess the knife with an intent to kill the victim.

Concluding her defence, Al Sayegh asked the appellate court to acquit her client of murder and dismiss the prosecutors' appeal for a stiffer punishment.

The Appeal Court is expected to issue its judgment in July.


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Khaleej Times

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