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Court upholds 15-year jail term for man who killed his nephew

By Rana Husseini - Jan 11,2017 - Last updated at Jan 11,2017

AMMAN — The Cassation Court has upheld a May 2015 Criminal Court ruling sentencing a man to 15 years in prison after convicting him of murdering his 27-year-old nephew in Marka in November 2014.

The Criminal Court declared the defendant guilty of beating and stabbing his nephew on August 28, 2014 after the latter attacked his house because the defendant refused his marriage proposal to his daughter. 

The victim was rushed to hospital and placed under an artificial respiration device, but died three months later as a result of complications from the wounds he sustained in the attack, according to court documents. 

The tribunal first handed the defendant a 20-year prison term, but decided to reduce the penalty to 15 because “the victim was drunk and cursing everyone, and had attacked the property in the past”.

Court papers said the victim wanted to marry the defendant’s daughter but “he refused because the defendant was a troublemaker and always drunk”.

On August 28, 2014, the victim’s mother went to the defendant’s house to seek his daughter’s hand for her son.

“The defendant refused, and the mother informed her son, so he became enraged and headed to [the defendant’s] house,” court documents said.

The victim, who according to court was drunk, started yelling and cursing the defendant over his decision.

“The defendant came out of the house and, following a heated argument, beat up the victim with a stick then stabbed him with a knife,” court documents said. 

The defendant had contested the Criminal Court’s ruling, arguing that he should benefit from a reduction in penalty as stipulated in Article 98, because “he committed the crime in a moment of rage and to defend himself”.

“The defendant has committed this crime in self-defence and to protect himself since the victim was drunk and had been shouting and cursing everyone,” the defendant’s attorney argued in his contest documents.

However, the Cassation Court ruled that “the victim did not cause any threat to the defendant and he was just shouting and cursing. Therefore, the defendant is not entitled to any reduction in penalty”.

The court comprised judges Mahmoud Ababneh, Basil Abu Anzeh, Yassin Abdullat, Mohammad Tarawneh and Hussein Sakran.

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