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Two carpenters deny murdering colleague

Dubai: Two carpenters denied beating a co-worker in a drunken brawl, strangling him and abandoning his lifeless body in a deserted area - before returning to their drinking session.

The Indian defendants, N.S., 24, and J.K., 30, admitted before the criminal court on Wednesday they were involved in a drunken fight in December with the victim, R.K., but stressed they did not intend to kill the victim.

Police officers found the victim's body in Al Khawaneej area on December 30, 2010. An Emirati police officer and witness told prosecutors they initially did not suspect foul play. A forensic report, however, showed the cause of death was assault from kicking and punching and strangulation.

R.K. and the defendants were building a villa in the area, records show.

Police investigators said R.K. had been drinking with his co-workers on the night before his body was found.

According to H.A., 35, a Dubai police lieutenant, a dispute broke out between the defendants and R.K. The men fought and the defendant kicked and punched R.K. until he fell to the ground. Then they allegedly chocked him.

Later, N.S. and J.K. returned to their drinking, and left him where he lay, records show. H.A. told prosecutors that in the morning, after the defendants found him unconscious and motionless on the floor, they knew he was dead and then carried his body to a deserted area. The next hearing is scheduled for July 6.

Two in court for shoplifting

Two women accused on shoplifting has denied on Wednesday stealing items from a Debenhams store.

The Iranian defendants, N.F., 24, and M.L., 56, both visitors, appeared in a criminal court and denied stealing items worth Dh2,182.

Prosecutors said the incident occurred at around 4:30 pm on March 17, 2011.

A Pakistani security guard, Y.A., 35, told prosecutors that he got suspicious when CCTV cameras showed the defendants were browsing around the store and one of the women was carrying an empty backpack.

Y.A. said the defendants took two pairs of jeans, a shirt, two women's shawls, four pairs of shoes, perfumes and a blue jacket.

Records show the defendants put the items in a basket that belonged to the store before going to the changing rooms. Twenty minutes later, N.F. and M.L. got out of the changing room and the backpack was full, Y.A. told prosecutors. The defendants returned the blue jacket back, and went to the elevators to exit the store.

Y.A. warned the store employees of what he saw, and when they checked the dressing room, they did not find any clothes, records show. Court records showed the women removed the security tags from the items and hid them in the pocket of the blue jacket they left behind. Five tags were found hidden in jacket, Y.A. said.

Security guards were sent to stop them before they left the store before police came. The next hearing is on July 13.

Settlement reached in attempted murder case

A man facing attempted murder charges lodged by his roommate whom he suspected of spreading rumors of him being a homosexual walked free on Wednesday.

The incident occurred on December 12, 2010, after the men - who both worked for a glass installation firm - returned to their apartment in International City apartment for a mid-day break.

The Egyptian defendant, A.M., 27, denied stabbing his roommate, M.A., 37, with a kitchen knife during the first hearing on May 25 before judge Fahmy Mounir Fahmy.

M.A. told prosecutors that after he woke up from one-hour nap in his bedroom, he saw A.M. sitting on the edge of his bed holding a rope. A.M. convinced M.A. to have himself tied up with the rope to show a magic trick. M.A. agreed and A.M. tied his (M.A's) hands, legs and wrapped the rope around his body.

"I told him the rope was too tight on my hands and they were hurting me. He said: ‘It's better that your hand hurts, and not your heart'," M.A. told prosecutors.

M.A., unsure of what will happen next, untied himself and followed his roommate to the living room. It was then that A.M. confronted M.A. about spreading rumours that he was gay.

Repeated denials by M.A. and appeals to let the matter go did not pacify the accused. A.M. allegedly grabbed a kitchen knife and slit M.A.'s neck as he watched TV. In court, M.A. said A.M. bit him in the arm before he managed to get the knife away from him. A police officer who responded to the incident testified that he found blood stains on the stairs leading up to the apartment on the fourth floor, and he found a profusely bleeding M.A. on floor at the entrance of the building. The case was withdrawn after the accuser signed a letter forgiving the defendant.

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