Court upholds death sentence in rape-murderhttp://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article164061.ece
By NADA AL-MADDAH | ARAB NEWS
Published: Oct 19, 2010 00:52 Updated: Oct 19, 2010 00:52
JEDDAH: The High Court in Makkah on Monday sentenced a man who murdered and raped a 38-year-old Saudi Teacher in Makkah to death and his wife to 400 lashes and imprisonment for her involvement in the crime.
The verdict was announced by Suleiman Al-Dakhil, the chief judge at the court.
A three-member bench at the General Court in Makkah had earlier sentenced the killer to death by beheading and for his body to be put on public display. The public display aspect of the punishment was, however, withdrawn after the defendant raised an objection.
The man is likely to appeal the new verdict. Sources, however, said the Court of Appeals is likely to endorse the High Court verdict. The court may also ask for the man’s body to be put on public display considering the enormity of his crime.
The man killed the woman, a widow, on March 13, 2009, after Maghreb prayer. The woman, a lecturer at Umm Al-Qura University, had left home to buy books for her daughter and an airline ticket for herself to travel to Riyadh to attend a conference.
When she did not return, her family tried to contact her on her mobile phone and continued sending text messages until the next day. The mobile phone was, however, switched off.
The next morning, the woman’s relatives informed police that she was missing. Security officers then launched a massive search operation and found her decomposed body in Abu Arwa desert near Jumoum after nine days.
The body was formally identified on March 28, 2009. Forensic tests showed that the woman had been raped and her hands and legs broken before she was killed.
Police arrested the killer who was trying to sell the woman’s mobile phone at a shop in Jumoum. He admitted to the crime.
A few days later, the killer’s wife was arrested when she tried to withdraw money from the dead woman’s account using her ATM card.
The slain woman was a lecturer at Umm Al-Qura University’s Arts and Administrative Science College. Academic circles in Makkah and around the Kingdom received the news of her murder with shock.