Saudi preacher jailed 8 years for killing his daughter

Fayhan al-Ghamdi, a Saudi preacher, has been sentence to eight years in prison and 800 lashes for killing his five-year-old daughter. (YouTube screen grab)

A Saudi court sentenced a preacher convicted of torturing his five-year-old daughter to death was sentenced to eight years in prison and 800 lashes, a lawyer said Tuesday.

In a case that drew widespread public condemnation in the kingdom and abroad, the court also ordered Fayhan al-Ghamdi to pay his ex-wife, the girl's mother, one million riyals ($270,000) in “blood money,” lawyer Turki al-Rasheed told AFP.

Blood money is compensation for the next of kin under Islamic law.

The girl’s mother had demanded 10 million riyals ($2.7 million).

Ghamdi’s second wife, accused of taking part in the crime, was sentenced to 10 months in prison and 150 lashes, said Rasheed, who is lawyer for the girl’s mother.

According to some news agencies, the Ghamdi was also reported to have raped his daughter. But local reports say the crime was that he tortured her to death.

The girl was admitted to hospital on December 25, 2011 with multiple injuries, including a crushed skull, broken ribs and left arm, extensive bruising and burns, activists said. She died several months later.

Ghamdi, a regular guest on Muslim television networks despite not being an authorized cleric in Saudi Arabia, had confessed to having used cables and a cane to inflict the injuries, human rights activists said earlier this year.

Rights activists in the kingdom had been campaigning for harsher punishment of Ghamdi when reports emerged in January that the court would only give him a short jail term and order him to pay blood money to the mother.

In ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia, murder is among several crimes punishable by death, a father cannot be executed for murdering his children, nor can husbands be executed for murdering their wives.

Such crimes carry a jail sentence between five to 12 years.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:40 - GMT 06:40
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