Reem Island Murder Accused Pleads Not-Guilty; Case Adjourned To April 14

The accused denied all charges by the public prosecution against her, saying that she had a mental illness.



The hearing of the Reem Island murder case has been postponed to April 14 to provide time to examine defence witnesses after the suspect pleaded not-guilty, state news agency WAM reported.

The latest decision comes as the accused denied all charges that were levelled against her by the prosecution, saying that she suffered from a mental illness.

Alaa Bader Abdullah also said that she was forced to confess during her interrogation.

In response to the accused’s claims, the defence lawyer requested the court additional time to examine her claims of forced interrogation and mental condition.

The suspect is charged with the murder of 47-year-old American schoolteacher Ibolya Ryan in an Abu Dhabi mall toilet and for placing an explosive at the doorstep of another resident with an intention to harm, state news agency WAM reported.

The accused was also charged on the counts of “collecting explosive materials, which is prohibited to be assembled by law, without a license, and establishing and managing electronically an account on the internet under a pseudonym with a view to promoting ideas of a terrorist group.”

Abdullah was also accused of “publishing through this account information intended to distort the reputation, prestige and stature of the state and undermine its figures, in addition to funding a terrorist organisation knowing that it will be used in terrorist acts.”

The prosecution said she committed these crimes with intent “to cause death, to stir up fear among people, to compromise the prestigious stature of the state and threaten its security and stability.”

The public prosecution asked the court to award the maximum penalty to the accused.

Abdullah’s claims refute a statement by the UAE Attorney General Counselor Salem Saeed Kubaish who said that the charges against her were filed after extensive investigation.

He added that the accused embraced the “takfiri and jihadist ideology” and later enagaged in acts that supported terrorist organisations such as Al Qaeda and Daesh.

The killing of Ibolya Ryan in Abu Dhabi last year shocked the UAE, which is home to a sizeable expat population.

Dubbed the ‘Reem Island Ghost’, Abdullah- dressed in an abaya, black gloves and a niqab- allegedly stabbed Ryan in a toilet at the Boutik Mall in Abu Dhabi on December 4 last year.

Following the killing of Ryan, she proceeded to plant a bomb at the doorstep of an American doctor in the capital. But the explosive failed to detonate, foiling her plans to harm the residents and create mayhem, officials said in a later statement.

Her plans were also thwarted by the police who identified and detained her within 48 hours of the crime through the help of CCTV footage of the mall.