Victim's family accepts blood money, pardons killers
A member of the Kuwaiti royal family and his fellow student have escaped the death penalty in a high-profile murder case after the victim's family pardoned them, a ruling by Sharjah Appeals Court said on Sunday.
A judge sentenced them to 3 years in jail followed by deportation.
The 2 Kuwaiti students have already spent around 3 years in jail.
Sunday's verdict is final as the victim's family's have signed papers pardoning the suspects, a prosecutor told Gulf News.
The parents of the Kuwaiti victim as well as the Kuwaiti royal family members attended the court session on Sunday.
In November 2014, Sharjah Sharia Court had sentenced to death 2 Kuwaiti students who tortured a fellow student to death in February 2013.
A 3rd suspect connected to the case was fined Dh1,000 in absentia in relation to charges of covering up the crime and failing to report it to authorities.
Mubarak Mesha'al Mubarak, 19, died at University City Hospital in Sharjah on February 24, 2013, following several days of physical abuse.
The victim's family earlier had asked the judge to give the death sentence to the 2 Kuwaiti suspects. Salem Obaid Bin Sahoo, legal counsel representing the victim's family, told Gulf News that his clients had told him just after the incident that they wanted those responsible for their son's death to be given the death sentence but the family accepted the blood money of 1 million Kuwaiti dinars (Dh12.12 million) after a series of negotiations.
In January, a higher court in Sharjah started a hearing on the appeal against the death penalty.
Rashid Al Omrani, Attorney-General of Sharjah Prosecution, told Gulf News earlier, "According to our investigations, we are submitting 3 charges against the suspects to the criminal court: deprivation of the victim's freedom, torture and premeditated murder."
The 2 suspects sentenced to death, Y.H.S., a member of the Kuwaiti ruling family, and H.A., 18, were being held at Sharjah's Central Prison.
Lawyers for the accused had asked the judge to summon witnesses in the case, including the man who filmed a video of the torture, and staff at the emergency section of University City Hospital in Sharjah, in addition to university cafeteria staff where the victim collapsed, Bin Sahoo told Gulf News.
"2 suspects confessed to their crime before the court and said that they tortured the victim for 3 days for allegedly harassing 1 of their female relatives," official sources conducting the investigation told Gulf News.
It is understood that Mubarak was accused of harassing the sister of 1 of the 3 suspects and borrowed Dh100,000 from 1 of them. Authorities indicated this explained why Mubarak maintained his silence despite 4 days of torture and did not report the matter to police.
Source: Gulf News, Nov. 1, 2015