Killer’s luck runs out after 14 years on the run

He and his accomplices killed a shop vendor and took his cash and ATM card before fleeing the country

Dubai: A murderer, who remained at large for 14 years after killing a shop vendor in 2003, lost his retrial on Sunday and was sentenced for life in jail.

In April 2003, the Pakistani accused conspired with his countrymen trader and an Indian tailor against the vendor, killed him in his shop and stole Dh300, ATM card and mobile phones.

As one of the culprits used the stolen ATM card to withdraw Dh5,500 from the victim’s bank account, police identified the trio and apprehended the trader and the tailor.

The 46-year-old Pakistani convict, who was 32 when he committed the murder, was apprehended last year.

In April 2004, the Dubai Court of First Instance sentenced the three accused for life in jail followed by deportation.

The absconder, who had fled the country shortly after the murder, was sentenced in absentia.

The life imprisonments against the other two defendants was confirmed by the Courts of Appeal and Cassation.

The Pakistani absconder, who remained nearly 14 years at large, requested a retrial and appeared in court where he pleaded not guilty.

The 46-year-old refuted his accusation of intentionally killing the victim with a knife and a stick.

“I did not kill the victim,” he told the court.

According to Sunday’s ruling, presiding judge Mohammad Jamal said the accused will be deported.

A police lieutenant said the victim’s relative reported to them that someone had been using the victim’s ATM card.

“The relative said that he had received a bank statement that proved that the card had been used to withdraw Dh5,500 from the victim’s account at dates following his demise. We checked the CCTV cameras at the bank and that of the ATM machine. We identified the trader first and following extensive search, it was discovered that he had been working in Naif. Police arrested the trader who admitted during questioning that he and his accomplice had carried out the murder and the heist. He admitted that the Pakistani man had been going through financial problems and that the latter had talked them into killing the victim and stealing his money,” the lieutenant said.

Records said the Indian defendant was stopped at the Dubai International Airport following the incident. The Pakistani trader had left the country and was arrested upon his return to the UAE.

The defendants surprised the vendor, who was in the shop alone at 9pm, they beat him with a stick first and he dropped unconscious on the floor, said records.

While the defendants were searching the shop for cash, the victim regained consciousness and tried to stop the Pakistani man, who took out the knife and stabbed him.

The trio fled from the crime scene in a taxi that dropped them behind Deira Cinema.

Sunday’s ruling remains subject to appeal within 15 days.

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