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June 25, 2020

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Death penalty on the cards for suspect in double murder case

A man arrested for the murder of Dubai's Arabian Ranches couple could face the death penalty but only after serving a potential life imprisonment, legal experts said.

The suspect, an unemployed Pakistani, was arrested within 24 hours after committing the crime.

Dubai police said he gained access to the Indian family's home in Arabian Ranches through their unlocked balcony door last Thursday. When the husband woke up to the suspect searching through their belongings in the bedroom, he stabbed him to death before turning to his wife and killing her. Their teen daughter, who was awoken by her parents' screams, was also stabbed but survived the attack.

While investigations are still ongoing, lawyers believe that the suspect will face multiple charges.

These include the premeditated murder of the couple, the attempted murder of their daughter and burglary at night.

"He will be charged with the premeditated murder of husband and wife, and will be additionally charged with the attempted murder of their daughter," said Dr. Hassan Elhais, legal Consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates.

"The number of victims he killed being more than one, and the fact that the murder was associated with another crime which is theft, the penalty as per article 332 of the UAE panel code is death," said Dr. Elhais.

He explained that some circumstances of the suspect's crime are considered by law, reasons to stiffen the punishment against him.

"Since the theft has happened during night time and he did it while carrying a weapon, these reasons are recognised by law as elements that allow judges to stiffen the punishment against the defendant up to life in jail as per article 383 of the country's penal code," added Dr. Elhais.

Elhais pointed out that according to the same law article 383, there are five circumstances which if any was used during a theft, then the punishment will be a life in prison.

"These circumstances are, if a theft crime happened during night, if it happened by two or more people, if offenders carried a weapon, or if if happened in an inhabited place by gaining illegal access, and if it happened by the use of force or threat," Dr. Elhais said.

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