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Court upholds death sentence for killer of surgeon in Shafa Badran

By Rana Husseini - Nov 15,2016 - Last updated at Nov 15,2016

AMMAN — The Cassation Court has upheld a death sentence against a 28-year-old man for killing a paediatric surgeon near his home in Shafa Badran in May 2015.

Mohammad Abu Risheh, 43, who worked at Al Bashir Hospital and had five daughters, was fatally stabbed by the defendant while standing in front of his home on May 10, 2015.

The court also sentenced a second man, who is the defendant’s relative, to two years in prison for assisting a wanted person to evade justice.

The Cassation Court upheld the second sentence as well.

The higher court also upheld the Criminal Court ruling obligating the defendant to pay JD150,000 in compensation to the victim’s family.

Court papers said the defendant held a grudge over the victim’s treatment of one of his daughters almost six months before the incident.

“The defendant had a scuffle with the victim over the treatment and he beat him up,” the court maintained.

A complaint was filed against the defendant by the victim, but later “Abu Risheh decided to drop the charges”, according to the Cassation Court verdict.

The defendant continued to hold a grudge against the victim “and was suffering from marital problems following the incident that led to his divorce, so he blamed the victim for it and plotted to kill him”, the court added.

On the day of the murder, the defendant asked a relative to give him a lift to the doctor’s house without revealing his intentions, the court said.

“When the suspect arrived at the victim’s house, he saw him standing nearby and stabbed him one fatal time in the chest,” according to the court verdict.

The suspect left the area and police arrested him later after tracing the licence plate number of the car he was in.

The defendant had contested the ruling at the higher court claiming that the murder occurred “on the spur of the moment”, the higher court said in its 22-page verdict.

However, the Cassation Court ruled that it was clear from the defendant’s confessions that he had planned the murder for over three months, prepared the weapon and monitored the victim’s home “and, thus, he deserves the verdict he received”.

The Cassation Court comprised judges Mahmoud Ababneh, Basil Abu Anzeh, Mohammad Ibrahim, Yassin Abdullat and Daoud Tubeileh.

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