Gay Defendant in Burning Death Says Muslim Friend Committed ’Honor Killing,’ Framed Him

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Thursday April 2, 2009

Authorities say that Nadim "Adam" Kurrimbukus, accompanied by a friend named Yusuf Dulloo, poured gasoline over his former boyfriend, Charlie Davies, and then ignited him one evening last summer.

But Kurrimbukus, 25, denies charges of arson and murder, saying that Dulloo, a Muslim, killed Davies for being gay, without Kurrimbukus' knowledge. The defendant further says that Dulloo was trying to frame him--again, as punishment for being gay.

The twenty-seven-year-old Dulloo, in his turn, said that he had driven Kurrimbukus to Davies' home, but not with any violent intention.

Dulloo said that Kurrimbukus left Dulloo's car, and that Dulloo heard screaming at some point later on. However, it was not until the following day, Dulloo said, that he knew about the attack--and then it was because Kurrimbukus told Dulloo that he had "lit the guy."

Both Kurrimbukus and Dulloo have been charged in the crime, with the prosecution painting a picture in which the two conspired to murder Davies.

The grisly killing took place in a Stainton, a suburb of London located about 17 miles from the heart of the city, last June 14, according to an April 2 article carried by English newspaper the Richmond Twickenham Times.

But the court in which Kurrimbukus is being tried heard that Davies, 23, was targeted for other violent acts by his former lover.

Davies suffered burns over three-quarters of his body and died nearly two weeks after the attack, the article said.

The article quoted Kurrimbukus as saying that Dulloo slew Davies in what he termed an "honor killing."

Such killings usually take place within families, when a male relative kills a female for perceived shame brought onto the family. In some cases, the rape of a sister triggers such a killing by a brother.

However, honor killings have been known to target gays.

Kurrimbukus told the court, "In Islam, you are not allowed to be gay. There's such a thing as an honor killing.

"Dulloo's lying as a punishment. He is trying to punish me after he found out about my sexuality."

A friend of Kurrimbukus told the court that he had asked her to provide an alibi for his whereabouts at the time of the attack. Though she agreed at first, she refused after finding out about what had happened to Davies.

Kurrimbukus acknowledged having made the request for an alibi, but said he asked because he was afraid that he would be blamed for Davies' killing.

The defendant had told authorities in the days after the attack that he had gone to Davies' home to get a phone charger he had left there.

Kurrimbukus said that he had parked out of sight of Davies' home because he didn't want to be seen by the victim's mother. Nor did Kurrimbukus wish for Dulloo to catch sight of Davies because, he said, Dulloo did not know at the time that Kurrimbukus is gay, though he had previously concluded as much about Davies.

Said Kurrimbukus of Dulloo, "He hates gays, he makes no qualms about it. That's why he couldn't see Charlie."

According to statements made by Dulloo, however, he had nothing to do with the attack on Davies. Dulloo claimed to be waiting in the car while Kurrimbukus doused Davies with gasoline and lit him on fire.

"I'm listening to the radio and then I hear kind of like a scream," said Dulloo, "then [Kurrimbukus] comes back and he is like as if he has been running. But I didn't [think] that [had] anything to do with the screaming."

Pink News covered the story in a March 24 article, reporting that the young woman Kurrimbukus asked to provide an alibi, Corinne Port-Louis, told the court that the defendant had targeted his ex for an attack on at least one previous occasion.

Said Ms. Port-Louis of Kurrimbukus, "He tried to get something done to Charlie, have him beaten up."

But the earlier plot didn't work out as planned. "They had not done it properly," said Port-Louis. "He said that Yusuf probably knew a couple of guys who would do something to Charlie."

Pink News reported that a neighbor had glimpsed a man wearing a hooded garment in an alley shortly before Davies was set on fire; then she saw the same man running from the scene as Davies, in flames, screamed.

The prosecution alleged that Kurrimbukus and Dulloo were partners in the attack, and that they sought to delay Davies at his front door by gluing the lock shut.

The prosecutor, Victor Temple, described one possible scenario to the court, saying, "Mr. Davies arrives, key in hand, key in door, can't open the door," reported the BBC in a March 17 article.

"On his arrival, Kurrimbukus approaches from behind, pours petrol over Charlie Davies' head and ignites it," Temple continued.

"Dulloo is waiting nearby, hidden from view. Kurrimbukus runs off, Dulloo drives both of them away."

The trial is ongoing.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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