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Man convicted of murdering, burning sister handed 15-year sentence

By Rana Husseini - Feb 19,2019 - Last updated at Feb 19,2019

AMMAN — The Cassation Court upheld a September Criminal Court ruling, and sentenced a taxi driver to 15 years in prison, convicted of murdering and setting his married sister ablaze for reasons related to family honour in Irbid, in October 2015.

The Criminal Court declared the defendant, 46, guilty of bludgeoning his 28-year-old sister to death then burning her body and handed him the death penalty.

However, the court decided to reduce the sentence to 15 years in prison, as the victim’s family and husband dropped all charges against the defendant.

Court papers said the victim was divorced several times then remarried but ran away from her husband’s home so he “decided to kill her to cleanse his family’s honour”.

Two months before the incident, the court maintained, the defendant bought a flammable substance and a blunt object “and kept it at his home waiting for his sister to be found to kill her”.

On the day of the murder, the court added, the defendant learned that his sister went to see one of his brothers in Zarqa so he headed from Irbid to Zarqa to get her.

Once they reached the defendant’s home, according to the documents, he tied his sister up and “beat her with a blunt object on her head repeatedly until she died”.

“The defendant then placed the victim in a vehicle, poured flammable substances on her body and set her ablaze,” court documents said.

The papers added that the “defendant stood for a while watching his sister’s body burn then informed his other siblings that he murdered her. They took him to a nearby police station.”

The defendant had contested the court’s ruling, as his lawyer claimed insanity, the court documents said, but the higher court dismissed his argument.

Documents show the court had concluded that the Criminal Court proceedings were accurate and correct and the defendant received the appropriate punishment.

“The defendant had prepared the murder weapon two months before the incident and drove her back from Zarqa to Irbid. These actions do not qualify as being insane,” the higher court ruled.

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