[Deathpenalty] death penalty news-----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Wed Jan 31 17:08:52 UTC 2007
Bangladeshi Militants Sentenced To Death Seek Leniency
6 Islamic militants condemned to death in Bangladesh for killing 2 judges
said their actions were not criminal as they were guided by religious
beliefs on setting up an Islamic state in the Muslim majority country,
prison officials said Wednesday.
The militants, including the founder of the Jamiatul Mujahideen group
Shaekh Abdur Rahman and his deputy Bangla Bhai, stated in their mercy
petitions to President Iajuddin Ahmad that they could only be tried under
Koranic laws as they were waging a jihad (holy war).
Senior prison officer Shamsur Haider Siddiqui said the 6 inmates of the
condemned cells sought mercy from the Head of State making references to
the Koran, Islam's holiest book.
The condemned sought a presidential pardon in a last attempt to save
themselves from the gallows, Siddiqui said.
The president has the power to commute death sentences or life- long
imprisonment or pardon any convicted person under the country's
constitution. But this authority has rarely been used.
A criminal court in southern Bangladesh sentenced to death both top
Mujahideen leaders along with four other Islamic militants for their
involvement in the attack by suicide bombers which killed junior judges
Sohel Ahmad and Jagannath Pandey in Jhalakathi town on 14 November 2005.
The High Court last November confirmed the death sentences and ordered the
prison authorities to implement the sentences at the earliest time.
The Jamiatul Mujahideen grabbed global attention after its activists
carried out orchestrated bombings at nearly 60 locations across Bangladesh
3 years ago.
The government banned the Islamic militants, seizing hand grenades, guns
and propaganda material after raiding hideouts.
30 - Death sentences of 6 OFWs downgraded
The sentences of 6 overseas Filipino workers (OFW) charged with offenses
punishable by death have been downgraded to jail terms through the efforts
of the Philippine government, according to the Department of Foreign
In a memorandum for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo dated Jan. 22, 2007,
Acting DFA Secretary Franklin Ebdalin also reported that two other OFWs
are awaiting court hearings on the Tanazuls or Affidavits of Forgiveness
being executed in their favor by the families of their victims.
The 6 OFWs are: Guen Aguilar, Zenaida Taulbee, Ronilo Arandia, Fernie
Salarza, Melvin Obejera and Ma. Fe Cruzado.
Sarah Dematera and Marilou Ranario are both awaiting the Dammam Grand
Court and the Kuwaiti Appellate Court, respectively, to issue orders
lifting the death penalty imposed on them.
Aguilar was given a death sentence by a Singapore court for the 2005
killing of fellow domestic worker Jane La Puebla in Singapore. Her death
sentence was downgraded to 10 years imprisonment due to her "mental
Taulbee was given the maximum penalty of death for her participation in
the murder of her husband, James, in his Aragona Village home in the
United States on Jan. 5, 2004.
It was, however, lowered to 25 years imprisonment in the US after she
pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of conspiracy to commit murder in
exchange for her testimony against Reuben Wright and Randy Linniman, her
Arandia, a worker of a royal household in Saudi Arabia, was charged for
the October 2004 killing of co-worker Jameel Al Rehman, a Pakistani
His death sentence was lowered to 5 years imprisonment in a Saudi jail. He
is expected to be released sometime in 2009.
Salarza, a construction worker in the African nation of Sudan, was meted
the death penalty for killing fellow Filipino named Berin in January 2006.
His penalty now stands at two years imprisonment and the payment of blood
money amounting to 14,140 US dollars.
Obejera was charged with killing fellow Filipino Charito Tabag in 2004. He
has since been repatriated to the Philippines since August 2006 thanks to
the efforts of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Cruzado, who was meted the death penalty for killing an Indian national in
2004, is now serving 20 to 30 years jail term.
The President brokered the release and mass pardon of 338 Filipinos facing
charges with the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul
Aziz Al Saud, during her 4-day state visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
(source: Philippine News Agency)
Bulgaria Appeals Death Sentences of Libya-Jailed Nurses
The defence team of the Libya-jailed 5 Bulgarian medics announced it will
appeal their death sentence.
Lawyer Hari Haralambiev departed for Libya on Wednesday morning.
The solution of the HIV trial is expected in 2007, Haralambiev said.
"It will be a crime if we don't appeal the death sentence", he added.
The nurses, who were accused of knowingly infecting Libya children with
HIV, now face another indictment for slandering the police. The charge
came to punish the Bulgarians for claiming that were severely tortured
into making confessions during their police interrogation.
"Libyan officers are animals, promoted to the rank of people," Haralambiev
commented the new charges against the nurses.
Meanwhile Sofia Prosecutor's office announced it will initiate on
Wednesday a lawsuit against the eleven Libyans, whom the death-sentenced
nurses accuse of torturing them into making confessions. The defendants
will be charged with forcibly making the nurses to do or endure something
against their will by power abuse.
If found guilty, the Libyans face from 3 to 10 years in prison.
(source: Sophia News)
Qatar court passed death sentence on 5 LTTE killers who killed Kuruvi
former bodyguard of Colonel Karuna
5 cadres of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were sentenced to
death in the Persian Gulf oil rich capital of Doha in Qatar for murdering
a Tamil political opponent by bludgeoning his head with iron rods.
The person who was murdered is said as a supporter of Colonel Karuna
Karuna and for sometime one of his personal bodyguards.
The 5 Sri Lankan LTTE killers were sentenced to death, including 1 in
absentia, as they were found guilty of killing the compatriot in Doha last
February. Originally from Sri Lanka many of them were migrant workers in
Four of the accused were nabbed immediately after the murder, while the
5th suspect, considered the mastermind, is believed to have come to Qatar
shortly before the murder and left a few days later.
Quoting legal sources a local newspaper said Qatar would ask the Sri Lanka
government to extradite him. The case will be automatically directed to
the appeal court.
Qatar authorities believe the murder of Sri Lankan Tamil Manokaran, 25,
was a case of "political assassination" as he was a former member of the
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and later probably a member of its
break away faction, of Karuna, the local newspaper said.
Manoharan alias Kuruvi (Bird), a native of Eravoor, near Batticaloa in Sri
Lanka's eastern province, succumbed to his wounds seven days after he was
attacked at his labor camp on Street 49 in the Industrial Area, the
reports said. The breakaway group's leader Karuna hails from the same
The charge-sheet said the main suspect supplied his accomplices with iron
bars and face masks to carry out the crime.
The 5th suspect, who lived in the next room, supplied the group with
information about the victims movements while the third stood guard
outside his room.
"The 1st, 2nd and 4th accused sneaked into Manoharan's room and repeatedly
hit him on his head with an iron rod," the charge sheet said.
A police officer said the suspects failed to kill Manoharan outside his
accommodation, so they decided to murder him inside his room.
"On the day of the incident, the unidentified suspect was monitoring the
stairs to ensure that no one was around, while another one stood in the
"The others went inside the victim's room and hit him many times on his
head while he was sleeping," the officer told the prosecution.
"Though 2 of his roommates woke up after the victim started to scream,
they were forced to remain silent as the attackers threatened them," the
"The attackers stopped the assault only after they thought that the victim
was dead," he said.
Iron bars, 2 gloves and 2 face masks were found in the car of the 4th
suspect. The police dog, which sniffed the bars, led the investigating
officials to the 2nd suspect.
A Sri Lankan roommate of Manoharan, who was summoned as a witness, said
that he saw 3 men, 2 of them near the victim's bed and the 3rd standing
near his bed.
"I saw a man hitting the victim on his head with an iron bar. They
threatened to kill me if I opened my mouth. They told me that they
belonged to the Tamil Tigers and I knew they would not hesitate to kill
their detractors," he said.
The witness said that one of attackers shone the beam of a torch in his
face to prevent him from seeing them.
Another roommate of the victim corroborated his statement, the police
said. The medical report said Manoharan sustained bleeding in the brain
and fractures as a result of the attack.
(source: Asian Tribune)
Death sentence on trafficker reinstated
A sale in a drug transaction is complete upon the transfer of the
substance even though the money has not been paid, the Federal Court
Justice S. Augustine Paul, in a written judgment, said a sale in this
sense could not be described as an act preparatory to the sale or
negotiations leading to the sale or even agreement for a sale.
"The Court of Appeal has therefore erred in its construction of the
expression 'selling' in the definition of 'trafficking' in Section 2 of
the Act (Dangerous Drugs Act) with the result that the substitution of the
conviction of the accused on this ground cannot be sustained," he said
when reinstating the death sentence imposed by the High Court on former
construction worker Saari Jusoh.
Saari had been jointly charged with Mohd Saufi Jusoh with trafficking in
3,686gms of cannabis at Jalan Tun Abdul Razak in Johor Baru on Sept 8,
On Dec 11, 1995 the High Court sentenced Saari to death for trafficking.
(Mohd Saufi was acquitted of the charge.)
On Aug 15, last year, the Court of Appeal quashed the conviction and set
aside the sentence and ordered that Saari be jailed 20 years and whipped
12 times for drug possession.
Federal Court judges Justices Alauddin Mohd Sheriff, Nik Hashim Nik Ab
Rahman, S. Augustine Paul, Abdul Aziz Mohamad and Hashim Yusoff
unanimously allowed the prosecution's appeal and quashed the Court of
Appeal's decision to commute Saari's death sentence to imprisonment.
The Court of Appeal held there was no sale of drugs in the "transaction"
between Saari and an undercover policeman as a mere agreement to buy or
sell a prescribed drug was not an act of trafficking within Section
39B(1)(a) of the Dangerous Drugs Act.
Justice Abdul Aziz Mohamad, who also delivered a written judgment, said
the term "sale" in the meaning intended for the present case was to
deliver goods for money.
"So long as the delivery is for money which the delivery in this case was
as opposed to delivery as a gift or on some other basis, it is selling
even though the money for which the goods are delivered has not passed to
the seller," he said.
(source: Malaysia Star)
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