Three Indians convicted in the murder of a compatriot in May 2008 have been saved from the executioner’s sword after an Indian businessman paid half a million riyals in blood money on their behalf.
The three convicts, Fasal Iritti, 35, Mustafa Kunnath, 33, and M. Shakeer, 36, from the south Indian state of Kerala were released from Al-Hair prison in Riyadh where they had been awaiting execution for the murder of Ashraf, a native of Mangalore in Karnataka, another south Indian state.
Shihab Kottukad, Riyadh coordinator of the Non-Resident Keralites’ Affairs Department, told Arab News: “All three men were released Wednesday and left for home where they reached today.”
The three had attacked Ashraf following a scuffle in which the latter was killed. They subsequently tried to hide the dead body in a nearby dumpster when they were caught red-handed by a Haia patrol. The patrol handed them over to Riyadh police.
After their murder conviction and sentencing, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy was approached by their families who made an appeal to save their lives. They also sought the assistance of the Indian Embassy in the Kingdom and contacted the victim’s family living in Riyadh. The family agreed to pardon them in lieu of blood money.
Kottukad said the victim’s father, Abdul Qadeer, initially asked for SR2 million in blood money but eventually agreed to settle for SR490,000.