Blood money may avert execution for Filipina

Abu Dhabi (Reuter) - The son of a man killed by Sarah Balabagan, a Filipina maid, said yesterday he would consider dropping his demand for her execution if the girl's family asks him to show mercy. "If the parents come and ask me to drop the death sentence, maybe I will consider it and the family would discuss it," Faraj al-Baloushi said. "I would consider changing it. We would discuss the request between us."

His remarks were the first sign that the Baloushi family might be willing to soften its stand since an Islamic court last month condemned Balabagan to death in the oasis city of al-Ain for the premeditated murder of Almas Mohammed al-Baloushi. In line with Islamic law, Baloushi's family has the option to maintain the death sentence or to accept blood money instead. Balabagan said she stabbed Baloushi 34 times after wresting his knife away during what she said was rape.

Faraj al-Baloushi has rejected previous overtures aimed at saving Balabagan's life and insisted that she should face execution. But officials in the United Arab Emirates have said they would again try to persuade the family to drop their demand for the death sentence in exchange for blood money.

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