The United Arab Emirates has assured that its legal system would provide a fair trial to the 17 Indians sentenced to death by a lower court for a murder.

Responding to media reports, the UAE embassy here pointed out that the death penalty was subject to appeal and cassation by the rule of law "without any interference from parties.’’

"We fully trust our legal system and its procedures and we are sure that it will provide and guarantee a fair trial to the convicted, moreover, the court provides lawyers for those unable to do so themselves and gives them the right and means to defend themselves in court,’’ added the statement.

Senior Government Ministers have expressed shock over the death sentence to 17 Indians from Punjab and assured legal help to allow them file an appeal in a superior court. Making his dismay over the verdict clear, Minister for Overseas Affairs Vyalar Ravi has described the death sentence to so many people for one murder is rather shocking. "So, we have decided to give maximum possible help to them.We will see that everything should be done such as giving a prominent lawyer and financial assistance. We will try to help these people who are in the need of government help,’’ he has said.

"We will give them consular assistance and we will also try to find out in what other ways we can help them to file an appeal in a higher court,’’ said External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna.

All the 17 Indians were sentenced to death by a court in Sharjah for murdering a person and injuring three others over a fight for stakes in the illegal alcohol business, the prosecution has alleged.

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