A couple who killed their maid then tried to cover up the crime by burning her body with acid have been sentenced to death.
Abu Dhabi Criminal Court handed down the verdict on Wednesday after convicting the Palestinian husband and wife of murdering the Ethiopian woman.
The court was told that on the day of the murder in 2014, a fight broke out between the wife and the maid. Prosecutors said the wife beat her maid with a stick so badly that the maid fell unconscious and later died.
"Her husband poured a chemical substance on the maid's body to try to hide her identity," said a prosecutor. The couple wrapped the woman's body in white cloth then placed it in a suitcase that they dumped in the desert during the night in the Al Ajban area of Abu Dhabi.
Although the body was badly burned, police officers were still able to uncover the identity of the maid after her corpse was found. Her killers were later arrested while hiding out in a hotel with their children.
"They made the woman work for them for many months but they never paid her anything. They instead killed her," a prosecutor told court.
Prosecutors charged the couple with murder, torture and depriving the maid of her freedom. Prosecutors had demanded the death penalty in the event of a conviction.
Both the wife and her husband had denied all the charges. But Chief Justice Idris bin Mansour found the pair guilty.
The maid's family had also refused blood money and asked that the pair be executed for the murder of their relative.
Under UAE law, a death sentence can be appealed within 14 days of the verdict being issued.
Source: 7days.ae, February 11, 2016