KUWAIT: DEATH PENALTY FOR A WOMAN WHO KILLED 57 PEOPLE
May 26, 2010: The Kuwaiti appeals court confirmed a death sentence against a woman convicted of setting fire to the wedding tent as her husband took a second wife, killing 57 women and children, her lawyer said.
"We still believe it's a harsh sentence. We will challenge the verdict at the supreme court," Zaid al-Khabbaz told AFP by telephone after the ruling was announced.
The lower court sentenced Nasra Yussef Mohammed al-Enezi, 23, in March after convicting her of "premeditated murder and starting a fire with the intent to kill."
Enezi had denied the charge and her defence lawyers said her indictment contained no material evidence to convict her.
The August 15 inferno engulfed the women-and-children-only tent in minutes and triggered a stampede. The final death toll was 57, including Saudis and stateless Arabs as well as Kuwaits.
Enezi was initially believed to be the groom's ex-wife but defence lawyers said she was still married to him, as men are allowed to have more than one wife in the conservative Muslim emirate.
Enezi and her husband have two children together, both of them mentally handicapped.
If her death sentence is upheld by the supreme court, she would be the first Kuwaiti woman to be executed in the Gulf state's history.
Women from other nationalities have been hanged in the past, however.
Kuwait has executed a total of 72 people, three of them women, since it introduced the death penalty some four decades ago. Most of the condemned have been convicted murderers or drug traffickers. (Sources: Afp, 26/05/2010)