Saudi royal family intervenes over preacher released despite raping and killing daughter
Royal family reportedly 'stung' by the outrage over the case
The Saudi royal family has intervened to block the release of a ‘celebrity’ preacher accused of raping, torturing and killing his five-year-old daughter.
Fayhan al-Ghamdi was set to be released after agreeing to pay “blood money” to the mother of his daughter Lama, who suffered multiple injuries including a crushed skull, broken back, broken ribs, a broken left arm and extensive bruising and burns. Social workers say she had also been repeatedly raped and burnt.
Al-Ghamdi, who regularly appears on Saudi television, admitted using a cane and cables to inflict the injuries after doubting his five-year-old daughter’s virginity and taking her to a doctor, according to the campaign group Women to Drive.
The case caused a scandal in Saudi Arabia, with public calls for the cleric to be put to death.
Despite the country’s notoriously strict legal system however, activists say the law protects fathers from being executed for murdering their children
Rather than getting the death penalty or receiving a long prison sentence for the crime, Al-Ghamdi served only a few months in jail before a judge ruled the prosecution could only seek ‘blood money’.
Albawaba News reported the judge as saying: “Blood money and the time the defendant had served in prison since Lama's death suffices as punishment.”
Today, however, the Saudi Justice Ministry issued a statement saying the cleric remained in prison and the case was continuing.
The Times reported sources in the Saudi capital Riyadh as saying the royal family had been “stung” by the outrage over the case, with senior members intervening to ensure a stricter punishment is given.
One source told the newspaper, “The royal court is now looking at the case. He [Al-Ghamdi] will stay in prison for a long time.”
The £31,000 blood money Al-Ghamdi agreed to pay is considered compensation under Islamic law, although it is only half the amount that would have been paid had Lama been a boy.
Formal objections to the ruling were initially raised by three Saudi activists, and the twitter hashtag #AnaLama (which translates as I Am Lama) was set up.
In response to the public outrage over the case, Saudi authorities set up a 24-hour hotline to take calls about child abuse.
Germanwings plane crash: Andreas Lubitz 'had eyesight problems' and woke from nightmares 'screaming we’re going down'
Saudi Arabia says it won't rule out building nuclear weapons
The battle for the Middle East's future begins in Yemen as Saudi Arabia jumps into the abyss
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
- 1 Finland schools: Subjects scrapped and replaced with 'topics' as country reforms its education system
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 Watch: Man takes selfie every mile of 2,600 mile hike, creates amazing timelapse video
- 4 The day I starred in Only Fools and Horses
- 5 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...
£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...