Indonesian freed from death penalty in Saudi Arabia

Indonesian freed from death penalty in Saudi Arabia

The Indonesian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Agus Maftuh Abegebriel, informed that Nurkoyah was freed from death penalty in Saudi Arabia. (Libertina W.A)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - An Indonesian woman, Nurkoyah binti Marsan Dasan, from Karawang, West Java, has won an eight-year battle to escape the death penalty after she was accused of killing a three-month-old child in Saudi Arabia.

According to a statement from the Indonesian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Agus Maftuh Abegebriel, received by Antara here on Thursday, the East Province Court, Saudi Arabia, overturned the death penalty for Nurkoyah.

This comes soon after two other Indonesians, Sumiyati and Masani, who were also free from the death penalty, returned to their hometown in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, on May 7, 2018.

The Indonesian Embassy said Nurkoyah was accused of "ghilah" (murder with sanctions) of a three-month-old baby, Masyari bin Ahmad al-Busyail, by deliberately putting certain drugs and rat poison in his milk.

After going through a long and difficult trial since her arrest on May 9, 2010, Nurkoyah finally obtained on May 31, 2018, an assurance that the judge rejected the demand of "qisas" (retaliation) and "diyat" (fine) against her. The verdict signed by Judge Muhammad Abdullah Al-Ajjajiy was legally binding and completed the trial.

During the legal process, Nurkoyah received intensive assistance from the Indonesian Embassy, which appointed a lawyer, Mishal Al-Sharif, for her defence.

During the hearing, the judge rejected "had ghilah" (death penalty) and decided ta'zir (a kind of disciplinary punishment) with a sentence of six years in prison and 500 strokes of the whip.

That decision was based on Nurkoyah's confession at the time of the investigation, though she withdrew it later saying it was made under pressure.

The employer, Khalid Al-Busyail, then filed a lawsuit of qisas (death sentence) against Nurkoyah. The judge of the Dammam District Court rejected the death sentence because Nurkoyah denied the allegations and the employer was unable to present other evidence to substantiate the claim.

After the qisas demand against her was rejected, Nurkoyah had hoped to be released. The Embassy immediately took steps to repatriate Nurkoyah, but her employer, Khalid Al-Busyail, again filed diyat (ransom) on charges of negligence leading to his son?s death.

On April 3, 2018, the Judge rejected the diyat charge on the principle of "non bis in idem", which prohibits trying an accused more than once for the same act. The judge provided an opportunity for the employer to file within 30 days i'tiradh (expostulation) of the decision, but he did not before the deadline ended.

Thus, on May 31, the Court stipulated that the legal ruling in Nurkoyah's case had been enforced. On June 2, the Indonesian Embassy formally received a copy of the Dammam General Court's decision in Nurkoyah's case.

The Embassy then followed up by starting the process of returning Nurkoyah to Indonesia. It has been in touch with the lawyers while continuing to monitor the condition of Nurkoyah who is in Dammam prison. Nurkoyah will return to Indonesia immediately after an exit permit and other documents are issued by the Saudi Arabian authorities.

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