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Man charged with murder of sister in name of ‘family honour’

29-year-old victim received 13 gunshot wounds after release from protective custody

By Rana Husseini - Oct 04,2023 - Last updated at Oct 04,2023

Representative image (Photo courtesy of Max Kleinen/Unsplash)

AMMAN — The Criminal Court on Tuesday charged a 22-year-old man with premeditated murder in connection with the alleged slaying of his sister in the Jordan Valley a day earlier, official sources said.

The 29-year-old victim received multiple gunshot wounds reportedly by her brother shortly after being released from protective custody for becoming pregnant out of wedlock, a senior judicial source said.

Almost a month before the murder, according to the senior judicial source, the victim “was spotted on cameras throwing a bag containing a seven-month-old foetus in a garbage disposal in downtown Karak”.

The victim was brought to the Karak National Institute for Forensic Medicine (KNIFM) and it was determined by the attending physician that “she had just delivered a baby”, the senior judicial source told The Jordan Times.

As a result, the senior judicial source maintained, the victim was ordered detained at a government facility by the administrative governor “to protect her from any possible danger or retaliation from her family”.

A DNA test conducted later on the victim and the dead baby confirmed that she was the biological mother, according to the senior judicial source.

On Monday, the senior judicial source stated, the suspect visited the administrative governor to release his sister and “signed a guarantee that he would not harm her”.

“When the two entered the family home, the suspect grabbed a gun that he borrowed from a friend one week before the murder and fired multiple rounds at his unsuspecting sister,” according to the senior judicial source.

The victim’s family were at home in another room when the shooting occurred and told investigators that “they were surprised by the shooting incident”, the senior judicial source said.

The defendant then fled from the family’s home and turned himself in to police around 11pm and “handed officers on duty a gun,” the senior judicial source stated.

The defendant claimed that “he shot and murdered his sister to defend his family’s honour”, the senior judicial source added.

A team of government pathologists headed by Iwad Tarawneh, Ala Bawat and Kamal Habashneh performed an autopsy and determined that the victim received 13 gunshot wounds, the senior judicial source said.

“The victim received four bullets to the head, four to the chest and stomach and the rest on different parts of her body,” the senior judicial source added.

Police Spokesperson Lt. Col. Amer Sartawi told The Jordan Times that the investigation is ongoing.

“The Criminal Court prosecutor is currently investigating the incident and questioning the suspect and the victim’s family,” Sartawi said.

The suspect was ordered detained at a correctional and rehabilitation centre by the criminal court prosecutor for 15 days pending further investigation.

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