Saudi Arabia: murderer granted clemency by victim's family minutes before scheduled execution

Saudi Arabian legal system allows families of victims to decide the outcome of sentences after a killer is convicted

The General Court in Saudi Arabia's capital Riyadh. Under Saudi law, the family of a murder victim can grant the killer clemency. Reuters
The General Court in Saudi Arabia's capital Riyadh. Under Saudi law, the family of a murder victim can grant the killer clemency. Reuters

A convicted murderer in Saudi Arabia was spared execution minutes before his death sentence was due to be carried out, after the father of the victim granted him clemency.

On Monday, Awad Suleiman Al Amrani won widespread praise on social media for showing mercy to his son’s killer.

His son was murdered in 2017 following an altercation that turned violent.

Mr Al Amrani issued one caveat following his decision to grant mercy: the family of the killer should not organise any celebration to mark his reprieve.

He also did not demand compensation, sometimes known as “blood money,” in exchange for clemency.

Waleed Khaled Darraj, a lawyer in Jeddah, told Arab News that sticking to the conditions set by the father would be vital for the killer.

“If written and approved by the court, all that the father has requested should be followed, otherwise the waiver becomes invalid and the victim’s family has the right to demand beheading.”

“Islam also teaches its followers to show tolerance,” Mr Darraj said.

“When such a crime happens, beheading the killer, demanding blood money is the right of the victim’s family.

"However, some noble people just forgive without requesting a penny. These people seek what Allah has promised the forgivers.”

Updated: May 25, 2021 04:43 PM

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