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Sharia law - without exception: Saudi royal faces death in murder charge

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
December 31st, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The identity of the Saudi Arabian prince has not been released - but in an example of justice for all, Crown Prince Sultan bin Salman has given approval for the execution of a member of the royal family convicted of murder. Prince Salman declared "Sharia (Islamic law) shall be applied to all without exception," in a message to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef.  

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The English-language Arab News didn't name either the prince or his victim. Prince Salman had "cleared the way for the possible execution of a prince convicted of murdering a Saudi citizen," according to the newspaper report.

A statement from the victim's father that he was not ready to pardon the killer. He was reportedly not happy with the amount offered as blood money. In Saudi Arabia, the families of murder victims are encouraged by authorities to accept blood money instead of insisting on execution.

"There is no difference between big and small, rich and poor ... Nobody is allowed to interfere with the judiciary's decision. This is the tradition of this state. We are committed to following the sharia," the paper quoted the prince as saying.

Arab News is part of a media group chaired by a son of Crown Prince Salman, who is also deputy prime minister and minister of defense.

Saudi Arabia has followed a strict version of sharia. The kingdom has been criticized in the West for its high number of executions, inconsistencies in the application of the law and its use of public beheading to carry out death sentences.

According to Amnesty International's Web site, Saudi Arabia had executed at least 47 people as of May 2013, compared to 82 in all of 2011 and a similar number in 2012.

Members of the ruling family are only rarely known to be executed. One of the most prominent cases was Faisal bin Musaid al Saud, who assassinated his uncle, King Faisal, in 1975. The royal family is estimated to number several thousand. While members receive monthly stipends, and the most senior princes command great wealth and political power, only a few in the family hold nationally important government posts.



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