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Court upholds death sentence for woman who killed stepdaughter

By Rana Husseini - May 20,2019 - Last updated at May 20,2019

AMMAN — The Court of Cassation upheld a January Criminal Court ruling sentencing a woman to death after convicting her of murdering her stepdaughter for reasons related to family honour in April 2017.

The court declared the defendant, on April 13, guilty of strangling to death the 20-year-old woman with the help of her stepson, a minor, and handed her the maximum punishment.

Court documents said the defendant discovered messages on the victim’s mobile from several men a few days before the incident and “concluded that her stepdaughter was involved in immoral affairs”.

“The defendant told the victim’s father and he informed her that he will take her to a physician the following day for a virginity test,” according to court documents.

As a result, the court maintained, the victim escaped from her family’s house and went to stay with a relative.

“The relative notified the family and they took her back and locked her in a room. Her father questioned her about her disappearance and she apologised, pledging not to repeat it and said she was a still a virgin,” according to the transcripts.

However, the defendant started yelling at her husband “that he should kill the victim to cleanse his family honour but he refused”, transcripts said.

The defendant then asked her stepson, a minor, to help her kill the victim and he agreed, as cited in the court documents.

“The two entered the room, tied a scarf around her neck and each of them pulled it from one side and strangled her to death,” the court papers said.

The minor is being tried separately at a juvenile court, but the defendant had contested the death sentence ruling through her lawyer, arguing that “she did not plot the murder and that the killing occurred shortly after the victim was located”.

However, the Cassation Court ruled that the verdict was correct and that the defendant deserved the sentence she received.

The Court of Cassation judges were Mohammad Ibrahim, Naji Zu’bi, Majid Azab, Yassin Abdullat and Hamad Ghzawi.

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