I won’t defend a child killer
Fifth lawyer to quit had ‘1,000 reasons’ not to take on case
A lawyer who refused to defend a man who raped and murdered a young boy has said he had “1,000 reasons” to turn down the case.
Hassan Al Raisi was appointed by the Dubai Court of First Instance to defend Nedal Issa Abdullah, 48, who is on trial accused of murdering Obaida Al Aqrabawi, 7, in May.
Abdullah admits killing the boy but disputes some of the prosecution’s charges and the trial continues on Monday. Al Raisi handed a letter to Judge Erfan Omar this week, stating that as a father he could not bring himself to defend a suspect that had already admitted to raping and murdering a child.
He is believed to be the fifth lawyer to turn down the case. Al Raisi told 7DAYS yesterday: “It was impossible for me to take this case. I’m a father too and this man killed a boy.
“I would have given 1,000 reasons to not take this case.”
By law, a lawyer appointed by the court must take on a case unless they have a valid excuse that is accepted by the judge.
Al Raisi said he did not have sufficient time or resources to defend Abdullah and was already due to leave the country for a summer break.
He said: “I made a written apology to the judge.
“When the court informed me I was to represent a suspect in a murder case, I didn’t know it was Obaida’s killer.
“It is such a big case, it needs time and effort that I don’t have because I will go on vacation at the start of next week.”
Now, a sixth lawyer has been appointed to represent Abdullah, Omran Dawish. He confirmed he will be in court on Monday. “I was appointed to take the case and I will be in court next Monday,” he said.
Last month, 7DAYS spoke to a number of lawyers who said there is a significant stigma about taking on a case that sparked such public anger. Huda Rustom, a well-known Emirati criminal lawyer, said at the time: “Such cases are viewed with a stigma in our community and I would rather not. And I would never defend Abdullah because of the nature of the crime he said he committed.”
TRAGIC: Obaida was found dead in the Al Warqa area