Saudi: Man sentenced to prison for setting house on fire

A criminal court sentenced a man to 12 months in prison and 70 lashes for setting fire to a residential apartment.

The man set a citizen’s house on fire, which led the citizen, his wife and children to sustain burns. The citizen accused the man of setting his house on fire because of a feud they had between them and took the matter to court.

A witness said he heard the defendant threaten to set the plaintiff’s house on fire but he never saw who set the house on fire.

Another witness testified that the defendant had threatened the plaintiff and that the two had a feud between them. He even wished to remain anonymous because he feared the defendant would take revenge on him by tainting his reputation.

The Public Prosecution found the evidence against the defendant to be weak and insufficient. The court then asked the defendant to a state under oath that he did not burn the plaintiff’s house. The defendant refused to take the oath.

The court then sentenced the man to a year in prison and 70 lashes.

The Court of Appeals returned the case to the criminal court saying the sentence was too lenient, but the lower court clarified that there was no incriminating evidence against the defendant but he clearly displayed malicious intent toward the plaintiff. The Court of Appeals approved of the sentence after the criminal court’s clarification.

 

 

 Source Credit: Saudi Gazette

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