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Death penalty overturned for nurse who killed Syrian

By Rana Husseini - Oct 02,2017 - Last updated at Oct 02,2017

AMMAN — The Cassation Court has overturned a May Criminal Court verdict sentencing a 23-year-old nurse to death for murdering a Syrian national over a debt in Mafraq in March 2015.

The court declared the defendant guilty of the stabbing death of the 22-year-old victim in a secluded area in Mafraq, some 80km from Amman, on March 1 and handed him the harshest punishment.

However, the higher court ruled that the Criminal Court “did not take the lawyer’s argument into account according to which there was no date, time or place of arrest for his client”.

 “We decided to overturn the verdict and return the case to the Criminal Court to investigate the violations in the investigation procedures and issue a new ruling,” the higher court stated.

The Criminal Court papers said that the victim, a Syrian national, arrived in Jordan with his family in 2012 and was residing in Mafraq.

The defendant and the victim knew each other and enjoyed “a good relationship”, the court added.

Seven months before the incident, the court maintained, the defendant asked the victim to lend him JD4,500 to settle some personal debts.

 “The victim gave him the money and, a few months later, asked the defendant to give it back but he kept staling,” according to court documents.

On the day of the murder, the court maintained, “the defendant decided to kill the victim because he could not pay him back and lured him to a deserted area”.

 “The defendant drew a knife and stabbed the victim in the back and, when he attempted to escape, he stabbed him repeatedly on different parts of his body,” the court added.

The defendant then grabbed a rock “and struck the victim’s head with it repeatedly to ensure he was dead”, the court stated.

The young man then contacted one of his friends and informed him that he had killed a Syrian man. He asked for his help to get rid of the body, the court added.

The friend, who recorded the conversation, “headed to police and informed the authorities of the conversation with the defendant who was later arrested”, the court added.

The defendant had contested the court ruling claiming that there were contradictory statements by the witnesses and that “he never plotted the murder because he enjoyed a good and brotherly relationship with the victim.”

 “The defendant, who works as a nurse at the Ministry of Health, became a criminal by coincident. The sentence is harsh and he deserves a second chance since he did not have a criminal record,” the defendant’s lawyer argued in his appeal.

 

The Cassation Court comprised of judges Basil Abu Anzeh, Naji Zubi, Mohammad Ibrahim, Bassim Mubeidin and Mohammad Ersheidat.

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