Saudi Royal Facing Death Penalty


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A news report emerged from Dubai early Sunday that claims a Saudi royal may very well be executed for the killing of another Saudi. A senior government source close to the royal family stated that the Prince Salman "cleared the way for the possible execution of a prince convicted of murdering a Saudi citizen". The name of the particular Saudi prince and of the victim has not been released.

A report to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef from Prince Salman is reported to have said on the matter, "Sharia (Islamic law) shall be applied to all without exception".

The victim's father has apparently rejected an offer of "blood money" in exchange for sparing the life of the killer. Blood money is apparently a form of offering restitution to the victim's family and is encouraged over asking for a death penalty. In this case, the father is alleged to want more money. However, bribes to hold up trials and convicted are frowned upon on an official level, and it seems Prince Salman is looking to send a message.

"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."

Sharia laws are blamed for a high level of executions as well as a failure for justice to be applied uniformly, and are highly condemned in the West. The system doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon, and the execution of a royal may be a sign of just how ingrained the tradition is. Though there have been dozens of such executions across the Middle East within the past few years, the execution of royalty remains a rare occurrence.

Despite the claims by Prince Salman, it's possible that enough blood money could be offered to make the charge go away. It seems regardless of whether or not there will be an execution, the process will remain a matter of high controversy.

Image via Wikimedia Commons