I won’t de­fend a child killer

Fifth lawyer to quit had ‘1,000 rea­sons’ not to take on case

7 Days in Dubai - - NEWS - By Ali Al Shouk @alial­shouk ali.shouk@7days.ae

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

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