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Man sentenced to 20 years in jail for murdering wife

By Rana Husseini - Jul 11,2019 - Last updated at Jul 11,2019

AMMAN — The Court of Cassation has upheld a January Criminal Court ruling sentencing a 48-year-old truck driver to 20 years in prison after convicting him of burning and murdering his wife in Ruseifeh in December 2017.

The court declared the defendant guilty of killing his 37-year-old wife, who worked at the Ministry of Social Development (MoSD), by striking her head with a blunt object then setting her ablaze while at their home on November 30 and handed him the maximum punishment.

The victim died on December 4 as a result of burns that covered over 75 per cent of her body.

Court documents said the couple married in 2006 and in 2011 they had a daughter.

The defendant would often “take his wife’s salary to pay up his own debts and asked her to borrow money, which she did”, court documents said.

“The victim informed her colleagues at the MoSD that her husband was constantly asking her to surrender her salary to him and would mistreat her,” according to court papers.

On the day of the incident, the court maintained, the defendant asked his wife to borrow JD2,000 from her family “so he could start a new business but she refused”.

“The victim’s husband struck her with a blunt object on her head so she ran to her room but he followed her, poured kerosene on her and set her on fire,” court papers said.

The defendant then attempted to extinguish the fire and was slightly burnt, the court added.

The defendant, through his lawyer, contested the Criminal Court’s ruling and asked to be declared innocent of the murder charges “since he did not plot to murder his wife”.

“The defendant attempted to rescue his wife and extinguished the fire when she fell on the kerosene heater and had no intention of killing her,” the defendant’s lawyer argued.

Meanwhile, the Criminal Court’s attorney general asked the higher court to uphold the ruling since the “punishment was appropriate and the verdict was correct”.

The higher court ruled that the Criminal Court followed the proper procedures when sentencing the defendant, and that he deserved the verdict he received. 

“It was clear to the court that the victim’s murder was not accidental and that she died as a result of burns sustained to her body by the defendant,” the Court of Cassation said.

The Court of Cassation bench comprises judges Mohammad Ibrahim, Naji Zu’bi, Saeed Mugheid, Majid Azab and Hammad Ghzawi.

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