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‘Family honour’: Cassation Court reviews Jerash death sentence case


Rana Husseini, The Jordan Times


AMMAN — The Court of Cassation has started reviewing a March death sentence issued by the Criminal Court against a 24-year-old man who murdered his niece on a university campus in the name of family honour in Jerash in April 2016.
The court declared the defendant, a Yarmouk University student, guilty of stabbing his niece at her campus on April 13 and handed him the death penalty.
Court documents said the victim’s father worked in the United Arab Emirates so the defendant “appointed himself as the monitor of his nieces’ behaviours, whereabouts and the kind of clothes they were wearing”.
Two days before the murder, the court documents maintained, the defendant suspected that the “victim was lying about her whereabouts and he did not believe her stories”.
“The defendant first decided to kill her at her house then changed his mind and decided to kill her at the university where they studied,” the court added.
On the day of the murder, the court stated, the defendant did not go to his classes and instead asked the victim to take him to her university because he wanted to meet a girl there.
“Once they entered the campus, the defendant walked with the victim for a while then drew a switchblade he was hiding and stabbed her repeatedly in the stomach,” the court added.
The victim was rushed to a nearby hospital in critical condition and died 14 hours later as a result of internal bleeding resulting from the stabs to her stomach, the court added.
The defendant, who was arrested at the scene, claimed in front of investigators that “he had dreams that the victim was engaged in immoral activities and that these dreams kept haunting him and that is why he killed her”, according to the 19-page verdict.
The defendant, who pleaded not guilty to the charges during his opening trial, also claimed that he “disapproved of the victim and her sisters’ choice of clothes and had criticised them,” the court maintained.
In its ruling, the tribunal said that the defendant does not benefit from a reduction in penalty since “not all of the relatives of the victim dropped charges against him”.
Assistant to the General Attorney and Criminal Court Prosecutor Jawaher Jbour had asked the court to inflict the maximum punishment against the defendant, saying “there is no justification to what the defendant did and he has no right to control the live of his niece in terms of what she wore, how she behaved and to end her life”.
The tribunal comprised judges Mohammad Baloush, Omar Kloub and Tareq Shakhanbeh.

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