Jeddah, Asharq Al-Awsat – A cousin of the victim in the “Khamis Mushayt prisoner” case revealed the family was not considering forgiving the female prisoner because it was worried a pardon might lead to retaliation.
Dhafer al Kulais, the victim’s nephew, was responding to rumors alleging the family would pardon the prisoner. He said the decision to let justice take its course was made during a family meeting after a visit by Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz to discuss the issue.
Speaking to Asharq al Awsat, Dhafer said Crown Prince Sultan spoke to the family counsel as a father and a brother and not as a government official. “On his visit, the Crown Prince spoke to us as a family member and not as an official. He asked us to consider the issue carefully before making our decision”, he said.
Despite repeated mediation attempts and the public outcry from the case, al Kulais opted not to pardon the prisoner fearing negative repercussions on family members. The victim’s nephew revealed that, “After examining the dangers of blood money and revenge between tribes, we decided that punishment was the best course of action to avoid confrontation between the two families and any negative ramifications.”
He continued, “Tribal traditions, in case amnesty is granted, require the murderer to leave the region. In the past, revenge attacks have occurred by members of the victim’s family against innocent relatives of the perpetrator; we want to prevent these attacks.”
According to the nephew, many mediators and tribal leaders who tried to intervene in the case suffered from being ineffective, but “The family is reeling from an even deeper pain and sadly, the wound is too deep to forgive.”
The case of the “Khamis Mushayt girl” dates back to 1999 when a woman killed Khaled Mohammad al Kulais. The 23 year old worked in the military sector and had seven siblings; both parents were dead.
Dhafer expressed hope God would accept the murderer’s repentance and said the woman would be considered a martyr is she had killed in self-defense. “Only God knows why Khaled was murdered and whether the woman was protecting herself”, he said. He also pointed out his uncle “died 40 days before his wedding day”.
He condemned the pressure and negative publicity from the media against the victim and his surviving family members. The family, he said, did not object to the public sympathy with the female prisoner but would not accept their son and uncle being portrayed as a violent monster.
Speaking on behalf of the family, the victim’s nephew described the last few years as “full of grief, pain, and sadness because of what has been said about the case and the way my uncle has been portrayed.” He added, “Judging honor crimes follow a certain course. All these matters have been examined according to Islamic law and the evidence gathered at the scene.”
The case of the prisoner of Khamis Mushayt has caught the attention of the Saudi public, which faces two weeks of uncertainty, prior to the advent of the month of Ramadan, before knowing if she will face punishment or be pardoned.
One reason the family has refused to pardon the woman is that Khaled”s body was mutilated after his murder. They say this barbaric act makes it very difficult to pardon the killer.