Source: GDN Online

An Emirati polygamist and his first wife are currently appealing life sentences handed down to them by a UAE court after murdering the man's second wife. 

During their recent appearance before a judge at the Abu Dhabi Court of Appeal, the duo said they did not intend to kill the woman. 

According to local media, the victim's husband said he loved her and only "beat her 'lightly to discipline her,' and not to hurt or kill her."

Previously, the accused were charged with premeditated murder in the case. They are now asking an appeal judge to "leniently" reconsider their sentences.

The victim had been horrifically tortured before her death

Both defendants denied intentionally harming the victim. However, court documents show that she was repeatedly beaten with a solid object and deprived of food for many days. 

"Prosecutors said the couple also 'systematically' tortured the victim's two children - a boy and a girl," Khaleej Times wrote

According to The National, the first wife caused a "permanent disability" to the son and "a delay in the growth of the daughter because of a 40 percent permanent disability." 

A verdict is yet to be issued regarding the case - which dates back to 2014- when police raided the man's property in Abu Dhabi and discovered his second wife's body. 

The woman, who suffered abuse at the hands of her husband for years, had been locked up in the house along with her children and was only found after officials were tipped off by neighbors. 

Prosecutors who first worked on the case said she died as a result of "excessive torture" and "malnutrition." 

Domestic abuse in the UAE is still prevalent

Domestic abuse is widespread in the UAE and other Arab countries, where hundreds of domestic violence cases often go unreported due to social norms and stigmas.

In July, a UAE-based woman filed a lawsuit against her husband of four years and asked for a divorce, accusing him of horrifically abusing her during their marriage. 

After years of abuse, the husband kicked his wife out of the house and terminated her contract at his company, though she worked without a salary. She was left homeless and starved for four days.

In 2017, a police officer in the UAE was convicted on charges of rape, but justified the vile incident by saying the woman is his wife.

"My client took his family with him and proposed to her. She and her father accepted, then it was declared among both families and friends," the man's lawyer said, according to The National.

He was sentenced to six months in prison, and according to local media, the short sentence is probably due to the fact that the charge differs from "consensual extra-marital sex."

The victim reported the man in March 2016 after he had forced himself onto her while the two were in the car.