"I had lost all hope of seeing the outside world"
An Indian man awaiting capital punishment will get a second lease of life after a billionaire businessman paid Rs. 1 Crore (£97,000) in compensation to have him freed.
Becks Krishnan was sentenced to death by the United Arab Emirates Supreme Court after he was convicted of killing a Sudanese boy in September 2012.
He had driven into a group of children.
CCTV footage and eyewitness accounts linked him to the crime.
Since he was sentenced, his family and friends have been trying to get Krishnan released. However, they were unsuccessful.
A discussion on Krishnan’s pardon was impossible, given that the victim’s family had already returned to Sudan.
In an act of desperation, the family approached NRI billionaire MA Yusuff Ali, chairman of LuLu Group International.
Yusuff Ali then went about gathering details of the case. He later got in touch with all stakeholders.
He also paid for the victim’s family members to fly from Sudan to the UAE.
Extensive discussions were held in a bid to agree on a compensation amount and secure a pardon for Krishnan.
In January 2021, the victim’s family agreed to pardon Krishnan.
Yusuff Ali also paid Rs. 1 Crore as compensation to the court.
The legal procedures related to Krishnan’s release were completed on June 3, 2021.
Krishnan is expected to return to his hometown of Kerala, putting an end to nine years of legal battles for him and his family.
Talking to Indian Embassy officials at Abu Dhabi’s Al Watba Jail, Krishnan said he could not believe the turn of events.
He said: “It’s a re-birth for me, as I had lost all hope of seeing the outside world, let alone a free life.
“My only wish now is to see Yusuff Ali once before flying to my family.”
Yusuff Ali said he “thanked the almighty and the benevolence of the visionary rulers of UAE” for Krishnan’s release.
He also wished Krishnan a happy and peaceful life ahead.
LuLu Group is based in Abu Dhabi and it owns LuLu Hypermarkets, one of the leading retailers in the Middle East and North Africa.
As well as being a businessman, Yusuff Ali is also heavily involved in various social, charitable and humanitarian activities both in India and the Arab states of the Gulf.
He has participated in various philanthropic activities across the globe.