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Man handed 20-year jail term for murdering friend

By Rana Husseini - Aug 14,2019 - Last updated at Aug 14,2019

AMMAN — The Cassation Court has upheld a February Criminal Court decision to sentence a 22-year-old man to 20 years in prison after convicting him of murdering his friend by pushing him off a cliff in Amman in March 2017.

The Criminal Court handed the defendant the maximum sentence after convicting him of pushing his 20-year-old friend from a cliff and killing him in Marikh neighbourhood on March 12.

Court documents said the defendant and the victim would often "spend time together and consume alcohol".

On the day of the incident, the court maintained, the two headed to the area where the cliff was located and sat for a drink.

“The defendant claimed that the victim talked to him about his sister so he became angry and pushed him,” court papers said.

The victim fell some 150 metres and landed on a pile of rocks and stones, court transcripts said.

The victim's family members refused to drop charges against the defendant, the court papers added.

The Criminal Court’s attorney general had asked the higher court to uphold the sentence against the defendant stating that the court had abided by the proper legal procedures when sentencing the defendant.

The defendant contested the court ruling arguing that he “should benefit from a reduction in penalty because he killed the victim in a moment of rage”.

The defendant also claimed that he was "subjected to torture and duress by investigators when he was questioned".

However, the Cassation Court ruled that the Criminal Court’s judgement fell within the law, that the proceedings were proper and that the sentence given was satisfactory.

“The victim did not commit any dangerous or unlawful act against the defendant so he should not benefit from a reduction in penalty," the Court of Cassation ruled.

Furthermore, the higher court said the defendant failed to present any evidence that he was subjected to torture in order to confess.

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

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