Five Indonesians escape death sentence in Saudi Arabia
The Jakarta Post
The Jakarta Post
Five Indonesian migrant workers from Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan, sentenced to death in a murder case in Saudi Arabia have been released by the court after receiving forgiveness from the victim's family.
Foreign Ministry director for Indonesian citizens and legal entities Lalu Muhammad Iqbal said late on Wednesday evening that the five had been granted forgiveness in 2014, but their release had to wait till 2015 as the court required the Indonesian government to pay 400,000 Saudi Arabian riyal (US$107,000) as "diat" or monetary compensation.
"The family did not ask for diat but the court did, considering the victim lost a son," Iqbal said as quoted by Antara news agency.
Therefore, the Foreign Ministry coordinated with the local government of South Kalimantan to secure the money, which was eventually taken from the local budget.
The five Indonesian migrant workers -- Saiful Mubarak, Sam'ani Muhammad, Muhammad Mursyidi, Ahmad Zizi Hartati and Abdul Aziz Supiyani, aided by Muhammad Daham Arifin -- killed Saudi Arabian Zubair bin Hafiz Ghul Muhammad in 2006.
"He [Muhammad Daham Arifin] was just a facilitator who helped them buy cement to bury the victim without being aware of their intention," Iqbal explained.
The release of the five raises the number of citizens freed from the death penalty with the help of the Indonesian government to 34 this year, comprising 10 people in Saudi Arabia, 12 in Malaysia, 10 in China, and one in both Brunei and Thailand. (hhr)
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