The case of 17 Indians, sentenced to death for murdering a Pakistani national in Sharjah, will be heard by a UAE appellate court on May 19, the lawyer handling the case on behalf of the Indian consulate has said.
"We filed the appeal on Wednesday (April 8) and are awaiting the full file for defense which will help us study the entire case," said Bindu Suresh Chettur. The next hearing in the case is scheduled for May 19.
According to her, further to this preparation, a national lawyer will take up the case in the appellate court. As per local laws, foreign lawyers cannot appear in the local court. The Indian consulate entrusted Chettur's law firm, Mohamed Salman Advocates and Legal Consultants, with the case following a March 29 judgment by a Sharjah Shariah court, sentencing the 17 to death. The Indians were convicted of killing a Pakistani and injuring three others in January last year.
"Our plea will be based on the premise that 17 people cannot be implicated for the same crime as the degrees of crime must be different," Chettur said. She said she is positive about the outcome of this appeal process as she has handled such cases in the past.
"We have to be positive and I am positive because of the faith reposed in me," she said, adding that the appeal will be based on the facts of the case.
According to the initial judgment, 50 people attacked the Pakistani with knives on that fateful day last year. Police rushed to the site and arrested the 17 Indians, who allegedly led the attack. The others were let off due to lack of evidence.
During court hearings, all the suspects confessed they had fought with and murdered the victim. Forensics reports and DNA tests also proved their role in the crime, earlier reports said.