Appeals court commutes death sentence [Archives:2006/947/Front Page]

May 18 2006

By:Yemen Times Staff
HUDEIDAH, May 18 ) The penal section at the Hudeidah court of appeals had On Wednesday commuted the death sentence verdict against Omar Ali Omar Faqira, killer of the 37-year- old Russian doctor Sanketa Elena. The penal court had on 20 April 2005 sentenced Faqira to death for premeditated murder.

The court of appeals in Hudeidah chaired by Judge Abdulkarim Abdulrahman Al-Barghathi changed the verdict to 8 years of imprisonment in addition to paying YR 350 thousand as wergild as well as paying YR three million as fees of lawyers. Meanwhile a judicial source at the prosecution of Hudeidah appeals court said the prosecution would appeal the verdict on basis that the defendant did not receive a just verdict.

On the other hand a member of the Russian embassy in Sana'a told Yemen Times that the embassy was not satisfied with the appeals verdict and that the problem was that there was no lawyer representing relatives of the murdered and her husband had left Yemen following the death sentence against the defendant was issued. The husband had not retained a lawyer to follow up the case as he is convinced of the existence of justice. Moreover the embassy was not called to attend the final session of the court that spelled out the verdict.

A Yemeni court had in April 2005 decided a death sentence against the killer of the Russian doctor. The Judge of the court Abdulrazzaq Nouman had issued his verdict of execution against the defendant Omar Ali Faqira for murdering the doctor. The Russian doctor was working at the hospital of the killer's father, Dr Ali Faqira Al-Hayat Hospital. The killer committed his crime in March 2005 at her flat and stole her jewels.

The Judge confirmed that the murdered was blood-immune as she had entered the country under official authorities permission and in accordance with the Yemeni law.