A Dubai court has turned down an appeal for early release by a group of five men from India and Pakistan, who were convicted of murdering a security guard more than 17 years ago.
The men were found guilty of killing the guard at a building site in Jebel Ali in January 2006, and were sentenced to 25 years of life imprisonment by a Dubai Court of Appeal in 2007, The National newspaper reported.
Having served 15 years in prison already, the men were unable to convince the judges at the Dubai Court of Appeal with the documents presented on Monday.
The court heard that the men were part of a 10-member gang who in January 2006 broke into the building site to steal 100 metres of cable worth Dh3,300.
The five broke into the site, stole the cables and assaulted and strangled the security guard.
Their other accomplices were identified as the driver, two who kept a lookout and two who helped to break into the building site.
The robbers then loaded the stolen cable into a vehicle and drove to Sharjah where they sold it and divided the money among themselves.
The guard, whose age and nationality was not revealed, had tried to confront the robbers.
His body was found the next morning by his brother who reported the matter to Dubai Police.
While eight men were apprehended locally, two had escaped to Oman.
They were arrested by Omani authorities and extradited to the UAE, The National reported.
The Dubai Criminal Court, in a 2007 ruling, sentenced the five men to 10 years for murder followed by deportation.
Their five accomplices received half of that sentence with deportation.
However, the Dubai Court of Appeal revised the sentences later that year, with the primary culprits receiving a life imprisonment sentence, which is 25 years.
Their accomplices had their sentences doubled to 10 years.
While a fresh appeal can be submitted in two years, Hassan Elhais of Al Rowaad Advocates told The National that request for an early release is examined by a dedicated committee as per the UAE laws.
Elhais said the committee evaluated the behaviour of each prisoner during their jail term and the potential threat they might pose upon release.
“The committee’s focus isn’t on the initial crime or the ensuing circumstances as that’s the purview of the sentencing judges,” he told The National.