DUBAI // The father of an eight-year-old boy found dead in Dubai has told a court about his family’s search for their son after he went missing.
Obaida Al Aqrabawi went missing from his Sharjah home two days before he was found dead in Dubai on May 22. He had been strangled and there were signs of sexual assault.
The child’s father, Ibrahim, told judges on Monday morning that one week before the incident, the defendant – a 48-year-old Jordanian – asked him if he could take Obaida and the defendant’s nephews and nieces to the sea on a day out.
“I refused because I don’t know him that well,” said Mr Al Aqrabawi, who is also Jordanian.
On the day his son went missing, he saw Obaida in the defendant’s car holding a smartphone and watching a cartoon, so he asked him to get out of the car, said Mr Al Aqrabawi.
He saw Obaida again at about 5pm inside the car and asked him to go home. Hours later, when the father returned at about 9pm, his wife told him their son did not come home.
“We started looking everywhere and we went to his [the defendant’s] apartment. He refused to open the door, so I threatened to call the police, then he opened up,” said Mr Al Aqrabawi.
“We searched the apartment and there was a strange woman who he said was his girlfriend.”
The father added that the suspect denied taking Obaida but then invited him for coffee and said he could accompany them to help look for Obaida afterwards.
“We refused and headed out,” said Mr Al Aqrabawi.
“All I want is Al Qasas,” he told judges, referring to the death penalty.
A Dubai Municipality worker who discovered Obaida’s body and the boy’s uncle also testified in court on Monday.
“About 15 feet away from where I was standing I saw the child on his back under a tree. He looked as if he was sleeping,” the municipality worker said, adding that he called his boss and was later told police had been contacted.
The lawyer appointed by the court to defend the suspect submitted a document requesting being excused from defending his client. The court decided to reschedule the hearing to July 18 to appoint another lawyer and listen to testimonies of four other witnesses.
The defendant faces charges of kidnapping a child, rape and premeditating murder, threats and physical abuse, consuming alcohol without a licence and driving under the influence of alcohol.
He previously admitted to rape and murder, but denied kidnapping the boy.
Source: uae news