Hope for 17 Indians
 on Sharjah death row

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Hope for 17 Indians
 on Sharjah death row

Seventeen Indians sentenced to death last year for allegedly killing a Pakistani, could escape capital punishment after an initial blood money and compensation agreement for Dh 3.4 million was reached with the victim’s family.

by

Amira Agarib

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Published: Thu 21 Jul 2011, 1:05 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 5:58 AM

The Sharjah Court of Appeal on Wednesday adjourned hearing in the case to July 27 to finalise the amount to be paid to the family of the dead man. Wednesday’s hearing was chaired by Judge Abdulla Yousuf Al Shamsi.

An Indian businessman privy to the talks, said the blood money agreed upon was Dh442,000, while compensation would total Dh2,958,000.

The Indian Consulate in Dubai confirmed the development saying a ‘preliminary’ understanding had been reached with the family of the deceased. ‘‘Today, in the 15th hearing, the Sharjah Court of Appeals was informed that a preliminary understanding had been reached by the Indian community with the family of the deceased. Honourable Judge Abdullah Al Shamsi took note of this important development and ruled that the Court would now convene on July 27 to receive the pardon papers and finalise other formalities.’’

According to the terms of the draft settlement, the Pakistani victim’s family agreed to accept Dh3.4 million from the defendants. Lawyer Mohammed Salman from the Indian side said Dh420,000 had been paid to the family.

Dubai-based Indian hotelier and chairman of Apex group of companies, S. P. Singh Oberoi, who negotiated on behalf of the men, handed over an ‘acknowledgement letter’ from the family to the judge. The letter said part of the money (1 million Pakistani rupees, or Dh45,000) had been paid and an official legal pardon would be submitted once the full amount was received.

‘‘We spoke to the victim’s brother Sarfraz Ahmed and negotiated the blood money issue, which worked out to Dh3.5 million, including compensation. The remaining amount will be raised and paid within a week. Former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh and four businessmen would help us in raising the funds for their release of the 17 men,’’ he told Khaleej Times.

Lauding the progress on the issue, the consulate, said: ‘‘The Government of India respects the local judicial process and is fully cognizant of the accepted judicial practices. Safeguarding the interest of the 17 accused has remained our principal and abiding concern. We have no objection to the path of compromise, which is an accepted judicial norm, invoked by the community on behalf of the accused.’’

On March 18, 2010, the Sharjah Court of First Instance pronounced the death sentence on the 17 men, who were accused of killing the Pakistani in January 2009 in a bootlegging turf war.

The suspects were also charged with attempting to kill three other people, who were all admitted to the Kuwaiti Hospital after the alleged fight.

news@khaleejtimes.com



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