SAUDI ARABIA: MAN PARDONED AFTER 18 YRS ON DEATH ROW
January 23, 2013: A man who spent 18 years on the death row in Saudi Arabia for murdering a friend has finally been released from a Taif prison after his tribe, relatives, friends and philanthropists were able to collect the blood money of SR27 million.
Awad Eid Al-Harbi was received at the prison gate by his relatives and large crowds who waited three hours until the prison release procedures were completed and were overjoyed to see him walking out of the prison.
The victim‚Äôs son said he would pardon Al-Harbi, who killed Farraj Al-Subaie, on condition that he pays the blood money before Jan. 12, otherwise he would be beheaded.
The son was only an infant when his father was murdered.
The court decided to delay the execution until the son turned 18 and was considered mature enough to decide Al-Harbi‚Äôs fate.
While in prison, Al-Harbi got married to the daughter of another inmate who was also on death row.
The wedding took place inside the prison and was attended by prisoners and guards.
Four years after the marriage, his father-in-law was executed.
While still behind bars, Al-Harbi‚Äôs wife gave birth to a baby girl who he named Amal (hope) in the belief that she would be a good omen for him and would bring him good luck.
The girl is three and a half years old now.
Al-Harbi reportedly said: ‚ÄúI cannot describe my happiness. I sincerely thank Allah and all those who stood beside me in my predicament.‚ÄĚ
He said the first thing he would do was to go to his house to greet his wife and daughter and then proceed to the Grand Mosque to perform Umrah (pilgrimage to Mecca).
The Taif court distributed the money by giving a sixth to Al-Subaie‚Äôs wife, one eighth to his mother and the rest to the son.
Al-Harbi thanked his wife for accepting his marriage proposal even though his fate was not clear and said he would live with her and his daughter in Madinah. (Sources: saudigazette.com.sa, 25/01/2013)