[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Tue Nov 25 23:20:48 CST 2008
Court upholds death verdicts in schoolyard killing
An appeals court yesterday upheld the death penalty passed by a Saudi
general court earlier this year against a Canadian and Jordanian for the
murder of a Syrian national in a schoolyard fight.
The case was sent yesterday to the Supreme Judicial Council for review,
and if the ruling is endorsed it will be passed to the supreme authority
for final approval. However, Saudi law reserves the right of clemency in
capital crime cases to the next-of-kin only.
Family members of the 19-year-old victim, Munzer Al-Haraki, expressed
their gratitude to the Saudi judiciary system for what they described as a
The two convicted men 23-year-old Canadian Mohammed Kohail and
22-year-old Jordanian Mohanna Ezzat along with Kohail's younger brother,
Sultan, 18, were charged with the murder of Al-Haraki in an after-school
fight in Jeddah in January 2007. The fight allegedly erupted when Sultan
harassed Al-Haraki's 19-year-old cousin, Raneem.
Sultan's case is still ongoing in a general court after an appeals court
threw out a previous ruling of 200 lashes and a year in prison by a
juvenile court and ordered a retrial in an adult court. Sultan may also
face the death penalty if found guilty.
The father of the Syrian teenager, Mueen Al-Haraki, had earlier said he
wanted to see a final death verdict before considering whether to pardon
his sons killers.
"I want a verdict, when a verdict is issued then there will be
discussions," said Mueen. "I want to know why they killed my son. What did
he do to them?"
A pardon by the Al-Haraki family would take the death penalty off the
table, although the young men could still face punishment under the public
Al-Haraki family said that a reconciliation committee, which acts as an
intermediary in negotiations over private clemency pleas and blood money,
approached them, but one family member said: "They are not considering our
Minwer Al-Haraki, the victim's uncle, when asked if the family would
pardon the Kohail brothers and Ezzat if Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques
King Abdullah intercedes on their behalf, he said: "We will not turn down
a request by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah. But, the
king is known for his fairness and I know he would not tolerate any
The Saudi leaders, including the king, occasionally intervene in cases
like this, working as good-will ambassadors requesting forgiveness from
victims' families. But the Shariah is very clear in that nobody but the
victims' families can save a person who has been found guilty of murder
and sentenced to death.
Canadian officials raised the case at the top levels during visits to the
Kingdom. In a previous statement the Canadian Embassy in Riyadh said
Canada would continue to pursue all avenues to assist the Kohail brothers.
The Kohail brothers are Canadian citizens of Palestinian origin. They
moved to Canada in 2000 from Saudi Arabia and settled in Dollard des
Ormeaux, only to return to the Kingdom later.
(source: Arab News)
Militants face death penalty for spraying acid in girls' faces
A terrorist cell accused of squirting acid in schoolgirls' faces has been
rounded up in southern Afghanistan. The country's President, Hamid Karzai,
called for the perpetrators to face public executions.
Police arrested 10 Taliban militants, and "several" have already
confessed, according to the Kandahar governor, Rahmatullah Raufi.
They are accused of squirting acid from water pistols at 3 groups of
female students and their teachers as they walked to class in
Afghanistan's volatile 2nd city.
At least 15 women were injured. One of the victims, a teacher called
Nuskaal, who was burnt through her burkha, said yesterday: "If these
people are found guilty, the government should throw the same acid on
them. Then they should be hanged."
Several girls were sent to hospital with severe facial burns. One teenager
couldn't open her eyes for days. The attacks sparked condemnation from
around the world. The UN described the attacks as a "hideous crime". The
US First Lady, Laura Bush, called them "cowardly". Mr Raufi said the men
were paid a total of 1,350 by senior Taliban commanders in Pakistan to
carry out the attacks on 12 November. He said they will face trial in an
open court as soon as the police investigation is complete.
An official at the Interior Ministry in Kabul said the suspects were
Afghan exiles who had been living in Pakistan's volatile tribal areas.
A Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousef Ahmadi, insisted yesterday that Taliban
militants were not involved in the attacks. Kandahar was the spiritual
home of the hardline Taliban regime, and it was their capital until they
were removed from power in 2001. When they ruled Afghanistan, girls were
banned from going to school. There are now almost two million girl
students across the country.
Capital punishment has widespread popular support in Afghanistan, and it
is enshrined in the country's constitution, which incorporates sharia law.
Last year President Karzai ordered almost a dozen snap executions of death
row prisoners, in an attempt to bolster support among Afghans unhappy at
(source: The Independent)
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