Kuwait’s Cassation Court has upheld a death sentence pronounced by the Court of Appeals against the killer of a Lebanese dentist in an assault at a shopping mall in Kuwait City.
The country’s highest court, whose verdict is final, also upheld life imprisonment for three accomplices, Kuwaiti media reported on Tuesday.
Jaber Yousuf, a 26-year-old dentist born to a Kuwaiti mother and a Lebanese father, was killed in December 2012 by four friends at the Avenues, Kuwait’s largest shopping mall following an altercation in the car park.
Reports said that Jaber, his brother, a cousin and a friend had an argument over traffic priorities with four people in another car. However, while the argument was over for Jaber and his companions by the time they entered the mall and went to a coffee shop, it was not for the other four young men — two Iraqi brothers, a Saudi national and a Bidoon (stateless) who reportedly wanted the fight to continue until the score was settled in their favour.
They allegedly took knives from a shop at the mall, walked up to the four friends and resumed the dispute.
The stateless youth, 22, reportedly pulled out a knife he had hidden under his clothes and stabbed the dentist to death. The attackers wounded two other people before fleeing. A massive manhunt was launched by the police who used the footage of the two cars arriving at the shopping complex to track the stateless man and arrest him in his hideout in a desert area.
Reports in Kuwait City said that he confessed to the crime and gave the names of his friends. The Saudi national was arrested later. The hunt for the two Iraqi accomplices took five days with security officers monitoring all areas where they could possibly hide. The brothers eventually understood that they could not go on hiding forever and surrendered, reports in Kuwait said.
The dentist’s murder in one of the most open and public places in Kuwait City sent shock waves through the community and triggered a wave of sympathy with the family and a string of condemnation from lawmakers and former political figures.