Oman amends death sentencing rules

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Oman’s Sultan Haitham Bin Tareq has issued a royal decree amending the country’s code on penal procedures related to issuance of death sentences, the Omani news agency ONA has reported.

According to the decree, the Criminal Court shall not deliver a death sentence without unanimity of opinions. Before pronouncing the verdict, the court has to send documents of the case in question to a committee formed on an order from the sultan.

The panel will be chaired by the sultanate’s Grand Mufti or his assistant, and comprise two experienced members nominated by its president to give a Sharia-based opinion. If the committee’s opinion is not delivered to the court within the next 60 days, the tribunal rules on the cases. If no unanimity is secured, the death sentence is replaced with life imprisonment.

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The amendment is to be published in Oman’s Official Gazette and takes effect starting from the following day of publication, the royal decree said.

Convicts sentenced to death in Oman have the right to appeal. Executions are not carried out without the sultan’s approval after the Supreme Court rejects the appeal and the verdict becomes final.

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