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Sun 7 Dec 2014 01:59 PM

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Ex-husband of slain US teacher praises UAE authorities

Paul Ryan says actions of officials in Abu Dhabi has 'greatly mitigated our pain over the loss of Ibolya'

Ex-husband of slain US teacher praises UAE authorities

The former husband of slain US teacher Ibolya Ryan has praised authorities in Abu Dhabi for the way in which they have dealt with the aftermath of the shopping mall murder.

Paul Ryan, in an interview with news agency WAM, expressed his heartfelt thanks and high appreciation for the efforts and personal follow-up of Lt General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, in the care shown for him and his 11-year-old twins following the crime.

Ibolya Ryan was stabbed to death in a shopping mall restroom on Reem Island in Abu Dhabi earlier this week by a veiled woman dubbed as "Reem Island ghost" who is now in custody.

Ryan, who lives in Vienna, Austria with their 13-year-old daughter, said that Sheikh Saif's interest and personal follow-up of the crime and the capture of the suspect have "greatly mitigated our pain over the loss of Ibolya".

"My family and I were greatly relieved at the way the UAE authorities dealt with this case, and with the civilised approach and high professionalism of Abu Dhabi Police who dealt with the case, my family and personally with me," he told WAM.

Talking about his ex-wife, Ryan said: "She was a beautiful person with a pure heart. I knew she was going to be a wonderful mother for my children.

"I first knew of my wife's death from a friend of hers. She emailed me and first said, "Something has happened", then she asked me to call her. When I called her and knew what happened, I decided to fly to Abu Dhabi, and when I arrived in Dubai, her friend told me that she had died.

"I was received at the airport by a community police officer who accompanied me through the customs then I met another police officer from The Victim Affairs Office (of Abu Dhabi Police). We took a car to Abu Dhabi where an officer from Abu Dhabi Police GHQ took care of me, and he still is (doing so)."

He said Sheikh Saif also called him on the phone and offered his personal condolences and on behalf of the people and government of the UAE.

"When I learned that the perpetrator had been captured one or two days before that video was released, I then understood how professional and skilful the police in this country are."

The suspect accused of stabbing Ibolya Ryan to death at an Abu Dhabi shopping mall was named by US media as Dalal al Hashemi.

ABC News cited Abu Dhabi Police as saying that the suspect, dubbed the Reem Island Ghost, is a 38 year-old UAE citizen of Yemeni origin.

She was arrested on Thursday in connection with the teacher's murder and is also accused of planting a bomb in front of an Egyptian-American doctor's home.

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