Saudi prince faces execution for murder

King Salman of Saudi Arabia

A Saudi prince who’s identity remains anonymous is facing execution after he murdered a local man.

Local media outlets have reported that the Gulf state’s crown prince confirmed the execution on Sunday.

Deputy Premier and Defense Minister of Saudi Arabia, Crown Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, said:“Shariah must be enforced on all without any exception because there is no differentiation between the strong and the weak in Islam.”

He underscored the importance of the law in a letter entitled “very urgent” – a copy of which was publicly published in the English-language, Arab News.

The name of the prince remains unknown.

Forgiveness and compensation

He recalled that, according to Shariah law, a convicted person may avoid the death penalty if the relatives of his victims agreed to accept the “diya” – a financial compensation paid for the death of their relative.

He added: “No one has the right to intervene in the judiciary system…this is the regulation in our country…in case the relatives of the victim refuse mediation and insist on the enforcement of Shariah, you are asked to implement the sentence against the killer…Justice must be served.”

The victim’s father previously stated that he was not willing to forgive his son’s murderer and the amount of blood money offered was not enough to replace the loss of a son.

There was no name provided for the victim or his father – while both were mentioned in the prince’s letter, they had apparently been censored by the media.

Criticism

Saudi Arabia has been criticised for its “strict system” of Shariah law, which has resulted in a high number of executions. Around 47 people were executed in the petrol-rich state from the beginning of 2013 to May, according to Amnesty International, in comparison to 82 executions in 2011 and around 80 in 2012.

Members of the ruling family are very rarely executed. However, the nephew of Saudi King Faisal, Faisal bin Musaid al Saud, rose to prominence in 1975 after he assassinated King Faisal.

A Saudi Prince was also imprisoned for life in Britain in March. Saud bin Abdulaziz bin Nasir is the grandson of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah. He was locked up in 2010 for subjecting a male servant to a “sadistic” campaign of violence and sexual abuse before murdering him. He was flown back to Saudi Arabia in March to serve out the remainder of his sentence.

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