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Man handed 20-year prison term for stabbing wife to death

By Rana Husseini - Nov 21,2020 - Last updated at Nov 21,2020

AMMAN — The Court of Cassation has upheld a June Criminal Court ruling sentencing a man to 20 years  in prison after convicting him of murdering his wife who wanted to divorce him in Irbid in April 2017.

The court declared the defendant guilty of stabbing his wife to death while at her family’s home on April 13 and handed him the maximum punishment.

Court documents said the couple married in 2013 and they have a daughter.

“The couple had constant marital problems and as a result, she asked for a divorce,” court documents said.

Seven months before the incident, the court maintained, the victim left her husband’s house with their 18-month-old daughter and went to her family’s home.

“The victim asked for a divorce and the defendant told her he would accept if she gives up her marital rights and the custody of her daughter to him,” the court said.

The victim rejected his offer and said she would give up her marital rights but not the custody of her daughter, court papers said.

One week before the incident, the defendant agreed to divorce his wife, according to court papers.

When they went to the Sharia Court, the defendant changed his mind and refused to divorce her, according to court papers.

The same night, the defendant went and stayed with her family to discuss the matter, the court continued.

The following day, court documents added, the couple engaged in a “heated argument” again in the presence of her mother and sister.

“The victim shouted at the victim telling him that if he were a real man, he would divorce her,” the court papers said.

The defendant immediately attacked his wife and banged his head repeatedly to a poll in the garden, the court said, adding that he “rushed to his bus and grabbed a knife”.

The defendant stabbed his wife repeatedly with the knife on her chest and then he attempted to escape,” the court added.

The victim’s mother and sister, who attempted to stop him when he attacked the victim, prevented him from leaving and urged him to rescue her, court transcripts said.

“The defendant rushed his wife to hospital and then he fled,” the court stated.

The victim died as a result of stab wounds she sustained to her chest.

Meanwhile, the Criminal Court’s attorney general contested the court ruling asking for a higher punishment.

“The defendant plotted the murder because he knew his wife was planning to leave him and carried the weapon with him when he went to see her,” the attorney general said.

The higher court rejected the attorney general’s request stating that murder happened following an argument.

“The premeditated murder, in this case, does not exist,” the higher court ruled.

The defendant stayed at her family’s house one day before the incident and had prior knowledge that she was seeking a divorce. 

“If he had plotted to kill her, then he would have executed his plan shortly after she asked for a divorce,” the higher court said.

Therefore, the higher court maintained, the Criminal Court followed the proper procedures when sentencing the defendant, and that he deserved the verdict he had received. 

The Court of Cassation bench comprises judges Mohammad Ibrahim, Naji Zu’bi, Bassem Mubeidin, Hayel Amr and Hammad Ghzawi.

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