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Tried but failed to save airport baby, doctor tells court

Bahrain News
Mon, 26 Jun 2017
By NOOR ZAHRA


A DOCTOR has described how he unsuccessfully tried to save a newborn baby placed in a plastic bag and dumped in a garbage bin at Bahrain International Airport.

The 56-year-old Egyptian was testifying at the High Criminal Court in the trial of an Indonesian woman, aged 34, accused of premeditated murder.

In the incident on March 6, she gave birth in a toilet at the airport just before boarding a flight to the UAE enroute to Indonesia.

She then stuffed the baby’s mouth with tissue paper, placed him in a plastic bag and dumped him a garbage bin. The infant eventually suffocated to death.

The mother was arrested in Dubai following an international arrest warrant issued by Bahrain after cleaners at the airport raised an alarm.

“Cleaners at the airport alerted authorities to the baby they spotted inside a garbage bin,” he said in his statement to prosecutors.

“I immediately took him out of the plastic bag and removed the tissues from his mouth.

“I tried to save him but he had turned blue and his eyes were wide open.

“He did not have a heartbeat; I tried to revive him but it was too late.

“It was a tragic scene. All the staff, including a nurse who was with me, started crying after finding out that the baby was dead.

“There was blood, cotton and tissue near the garbage bin.”

However, the mother previously denied premeditated murder as she appeared in court dressed in an abaya and looking very calm and composed.

She told prosecutors she wanted to get rid of the baby as he was born out of wedlock.

“I had an illicit relationship with a Pakistani man in Bahrain until September 2016,” she said.

“In February, I found I was seven months’ pregnant.

“I am a married woman with three children back in Indonesia and I did not want anyone to find out about my relationship in Bahrain.

“My Bangladeshi friend then gave me two abortion pills which I took on March 6 and headed to the airport.

“I felt pain in my stomach and when I went to the bathroom I gave birth.

“He was making a snoring sound. I heard movement in the toilet and did not want anyone to hear him so I quickly gagged him with tissues.”

She said she had to go to two other bathrooms to cover the baby with tissues to ensure he was dead.

The GDN earlier reported the woman was seen on CCTV cameras leaving one toilet carrying a backpack and then entering another bathroom, where the baby’s body was later found.

The incident came to light when she required treatment for “post-delivery complications” upon arrival in the UAE.

However, the defendant contradicted herself when she also told prosecutors that she did not mean to kill the baby and thought that someone would find him and take care of him.

One of the cleaners at the airport described how she broke down into tears when she saw the dead baby inside the toilet garbage bin.

A medical examiner’s report said the baby died due to “suffocation” and “negligence”.

The trial has been adjourned until September 26 to summon prosecution witnesses.

The defendant was working for a Bahrain-based company for five years, but was travelling to Indonesia via Dubai and Hong Kong when the incident happened.

noorz@gdn.com.bh