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Prosecutors to appeal verdicts in Abu Dhabi school bus death

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PROSECUTORS in Abu Dhabi will challenge a ruling that reduced the sentences of four people convicted over the death of a three-year-old girl who suffocated inside a school bus.The verdict was issued by the appeal court in Abu Dhabi last week but prosecutors will now appeal it themselves to the cassation court. Nizaha Alaa Ahmed died outside Al Worood Academy Private School on October 7, 2014, after falling asleep on the bus and being locked in.In February, Abu Dhabi Misdemeanour Court sentenced the Pakistani bus driver and Filipina supervisor to three years in jail.

The Lebanese school administrator received a suspended sentence and the owner of the bus company was jailed and fined Dhs500,000 for negligence.They challenged the verdicts and last Monday, an appeal judge reduced the sentences for the driver and supervisor to six months and one year respectively. Al Worood was ordered to pay Dhs50,000 instead of the Dhs150,000 fine issued by the lower court.The court also cancelled an earlier ruling closing the school. The six-month-jail sentence for the owner of the bus firm was upheld, but the judge cancelled a Dhs500,000 fine.

In a statement yesterday, public prosecutors said they had presented enough evidence to prove the school, the bus driver, supervisor and administrator and owner of the bus company were negligent in doing their job of safely transporting children.

“Since the beginning of the trial, we demanded maximum penalties if the defendants were convicted alert other schools could be alerted that children’s safety and security must be ensured all the time,” said prosecutors.


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