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20-year sentence upheld for man who killed colleague over debt

By Rana Husseini - Aug 22,2017 - Last updated at Aug 22,2017

AMMAN — The Cassation Court has upheld a May Criminal Court ruling sentencing an Egyptian construction worker to 20 years in prison after convicting him of killing his fellow national over a debt in Ruseifeh in March 2016.

The court declared the defendant guilty of bludgeoning the victim to death with an iron bar and a rock while in his room in a factory in Ruseifeh on March 30.

The court also decided to amend the premeditated murder charges to manslaughter because “it was proven to court that the defendant did not plot the murder”.

Court papers said that, one month before the incident, the victim had loaned the defendant JD500.

“The victim kept demeaning his money but the defendant refused to give it back,” court papers said.

On the day of the incident, the court maintained, “the victim asked for his money again in front of their colleagues and the defendant asked him to go back to his room to discuss the matter”.

“The victim had his back turned to the defendant, who grabbed an iron bar and struck him on his head,” the court added.

The defendant then grabbed a rock “and crushed the victim’s skull with it,” according to court documents.

The defendant had contested the court ruling, asking for a lesser sentence claiming that “he did not intend to kill the victim”.

“The defendant’s intention was to harm the victim in a fit of fury, not to kill him,” his lawyer argued in his appeal.

The defendant also claimed that his statement in front of the police “was extracted under duress and torture”.

Tha Cassation Court disregarded the defendant’s claims that he was subjected to torture and duress by police stating that “the defendant willingly testified to the incident in front of the Criminal Court prosecutor”.

“The court disregards the defendant’s claims because he had the chance to inform the Criminal Court prosecutor of any misconduct by police while in detention and he did not,” the higher court stated.

Therefore, the Cassation Court ruled, the Criminal Court’s proceedings were accurate and correct, and the defendant received the appropriate punishment.

 

The Cassation Court, which convened in late July, comprised judges Bassil Ibrahim, Yassin Abdullat, Bassem Mubeidin, Mohammad Tarawneh and Naji Zubi.

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