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Sun 17 May 2015 01:34 PM

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Prosecutors to appeal verdicts in death of Abu Dhabi schoolgirl

Abu Dhabi Public Prosecution seeks maximum penalty for those convicted in case of girl who died in school bus

Prosecutors to appeal verdicts in death of Abu Dhabi schoolgirl
Al Worood Academy Private School. (Photo for illustrative purposes only)

Abu Dhabi Public Prosecution has announced that it will challenge the judgments of the Abu Dhabi Appeal Court on easing the verdicts on defendants who were accused of causing the death of a three-year-old girl they left on a school bus.

The Abu Dhabi Misdemeanour Court initially convicted all the defendants, including the driver, bus supervisor, and an administrative staff member, who were collectively ordered to pay the blood money to the parents of the victim and serve jail terms. The school outside where the incident occurred was also ordered to close.

The Court of Appeal overturned the rulings against the defendants by abolishing the closure of the school and halving the blood money.

In the wake of those verdicts, Abu Dhabi Public Prosecution has announced it is currently preparing a memo to contest the rulings before the Court of Cassation.

According to news agency WAM, the Public Prosecution indicated from the outset that it had demanded the maximum penalty on those convicted, given the fact that the victim was a small girl and they should have accorded more care and safety. The prosecutors added that the death occurred due to a sequence of neglect and irresponsible behaviours, noting that it would have been averted if any of the accused had done his/her job properly.

Al Worood Academy Private School was issued with a closure order after a three-year-old pupil died from heat exhaustion when she was left locked inside the school bus. ADEC last week affirmed the closure order, saying the school’s licence would remain revoked.

In its decision, the appeals court upheld the AED50,000 ($13,600) fine on the school and ordered that it pay AED100,000 ($27,000) in blood money.

After receiving a three-year sentence in the original ruling, the bus driver had his sentence reduced to six months and the supervisor was sentenced to one year, with a AED20,000 ($5,400) for each defendant.