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Cassation Court overturns acquittal of man charged in sister’s death

By Rana Husseini - Jul 21,2019 - Last updated at Jul 21,2019

AMMAN — The Cassation Court has overturned a March Criminal Court decision acquitting a 43-year-old man for murdering his married sister for reasons related to "family honour" in October 2017.

The Criminal Court handed the defendant a 20-year prison term after convicting him of manslaughter in the death of his 45-year-old sister on October 22.

The defendant was originally charged with premeditated murder for pushing his sister into a pond and causing her to drown, but the Criminal Court ruled that the defendant did not plot to kill his sister.

The court also decided to acquit the defendant, citing the General Pardon.

However, the Court of Cassation rejected the Criminal Court’s ruling; stating that the incident was premeditated and that the defendant should not benefit from the General Pardon Law.

Court documents said that the victim developed a relationship with a man when she was single. The man tried to marry her but her family refused, and the two engaged in sexual activities for almost four years.

A few weeks before her murder, the court maintained, “the victim felt pain in her stomach and thought she was pregnant so she fled from her house”.

“The victim’s family searched for her and the police found her first and eventually she was married to the man with whom she was having an affair with to avoid a scandal,” court papers said.

However, the defendant “insisted on killing his sister to cleanse his family’s honour”, according to court documents.

“The defendant kept monitoring his sister’s movement and when he realised she was alone he dragged her to a pond in a farm he owned and pushed her [in] after telling her that she brought the family disgrace and shame,” court papers said.

The defendant stood next to the pond watching his sister drown and when he was sure she was dead he left, court documents said. 

The Cassation Court tribunal comprised judges Mohammad Ibrahim, Yassin Abdullat, Nayef Samarat, Naji Zu’bi and Hammad Ghzawi. 

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