Absence of defence lawyer delays boy’s rape and murder case

Abu Dhabi appeals court orders prosecution to appoint defence lawyer before next hearing

Abu Dhabi: The second hearing in the rape and murder case of a Pakistani boy resumed at the Abu Dhabi Criminal Court of Appeals in the capital on Tuesday but the absence of a defence lawyer angered the presiding judge.

The boy’s father demanded death penalty for the murderer and a speedy judgement in the case as the family has been suffering mental trauma due to their son’s rape and merciless strangling.

The 11-year-old Pakistani boy, Azan Majid Janjua, was raped and murdered by his uncle in May last year on his building’s rooftop and the Abu Dhabi Criminal Court of First Instance awarded the accused the death penalty in November last year.

The boy’s parents and grandfather and the accused were present in the court but Public Prosecution failed to arrange a defence lawyer for the accused, which angered the judge and saddened parents.

The presiding judge of the Appeals Court had ordered last month to appoint a court lawyer who can defend the accused and told the accused, Mohsen Bilal, 34, that whatever he would like to say in his defence could be prepared and submitted to the court or through the court-appointed lawyer.

However, the presiding judge once again ordered the Public Prosecution to arrange a court lawyer by March 7 when the next hearing will be held.

The boy’s father, Dr Majid Janjua, a Pakistani, and mother, a Russian, were both present in the court on Tuesday.

Speaking to Gulf News, Dr Janjua said, “We are saddened that no lawyer could be arranged for the accused though the judge had ordered the same last month.

“Because of the case stretching, we are going through so much mental torture and trauma and we want him (the accused) to be hanged and finish the case as quickly as possible,” he said.

He kept demanding that the murderer of his son should be hanged in public.

“Now we are going to the Public Prosecution to inquire about the reasons for not appointing a lawyer who can defend the accused,” the father said.

Earlier, the Court of First Instance sentenced the accused to death and payment of Dh200,000 in blood money to the family which has undergone extreme trauma.

The First Instance Court had found the accused guilty on all counts — of wearing an abaya [to disguise his identity], driving a car without a number plate and raping and strangling the boy with a rope.

The boy went missing in May last year after he left his house to go to the mosque for Asr prayers. Witnesses said they saw him leave the mosque but the boy never reached home. His body was discovered next morning on the rooftop of the building, where he and his family lived, by AC technicians who had gone to the area to attend to a malfunctioning unit.

The court fixed the next hearing in the case on March 7.


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