Page last updated at 12:27 GMT, Monday, 29 March 2010 13:27 UK

Death penalty for 17 Indians in UAE


A court in the United Arab Emirates has sentenced 17 Indian nationals to death for killing a Pakistani man.

The murder took place after a dispute over control of an illegal alcohol business.

About 50 people were involved in the fatal attack in which the Pakistani man was stabbed repeatedly.

Correspondents said gang violence connected to illicit alcohol is on the increase in the UAE, where the sale of such drink is controlled.

Reports said that this could be the highest number of death sentences handed down at one time in the Emirates.

DNA tests

The attack happened in Sharjah, an Emirate just north of Dubai, in January 2009.

Three other Pakistani men were injured in the attack, but they were rushed to hospital and survived.

The Indian suspects were rounded up by the police immediately after the attack, it was reported, after the surviving victims were able to identify them.

Investigators said they had matched the suspects' DNA to weapons seized at the scene.

The fight was part of a turf war between gangs of alcohol runners, the court said.

Sharjah has the toughest restrictions on the sale of alcohol of all the Emirates - it is completely banned there.

In neighbouring Dubai, which relies on tourism for a large part of its revenue, alcohol consumption is regulated.

But Dubai has also seen violent incidents associated with bootlegging.

In February it was reported that 13 members of an alleged bootlegging gang from the Jebel Ali area of Dubai were accused of kidnapping two rivals, raping them and burying them alive.

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Country profile: United Arab Emirates
10 Feb 11 |  Country profiles

Times of India India seeks consular access to 17 convicted for Pakistani's murder: Report - 4 hrs ago
NDTV India seeks access to 17 sentenced to death - 10 hrs ago UAE sentences 17 to death - 17 hrs ago
Arab News UAE court sentences 17 Indians to death for murder - 20 hrs ago
UPI UAE condemns Indian bootleggers in slaying - 21 hrs ago

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