Seventeen Indian workers on death row in Sharjah for the murder of a Pakistani man on Wednesday pleaded not guilty and told an appeals court that the police extracted their confession after torturing them.
The accused were brought into the Sharjah Court of Appeal in three groups, and the defendants were asked to individually explain what they knew about the case, the deceased and their first confessions.
The lawyer handling the case on behalf of the Indians, Bindu Suresh Chettur, told PTI that they were cross-examined today as the translators were made available as per court's earlier ruling.
"They pleaded not guilty and said they were never questioned by the prosecutors. They said they have been questioned only by the police," she said. The court has taken cognisance of this fact and September 29 has been set as the date for the next hearing.
The Indians told the judge they had never spoken to a public prosecutor and all the confessions were extracted from them by police after severe beatings.
Three earlier hearings in the Sharjah Court of Appeal Court were postponed because of the absence of an acceptable translator from Punjab to Arabic.
The next hearing is set for September 29.