Gulf | Saudi Arabia

Saudi tragedy deepens as accident victim dies

Court wants interpreters in helper’s case; traffic authorities rule out emotions in probe

  • By Habib Toumi, Bureau Chief
  • Published: 12:09 October 7, 2012
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Courtesy: Sabq
  • Tala

Manama: The tragedy that struck a Saudi family last month has deepened following the death of the hospitalised young girl who was hit by a driver who was rushing to rescue his daughter from their domestic helper.

Farah died on Thursday, two weeks after her father, Abdul Rahman Qindeel, was killed when the car he was driving collided with the vehicle driven by Khalid Al Shihri who was on his way home after he received a call from his wife that their youngest daughter, Tala, was in mortal danger.

According to Saudi police and media reports, Tala, four-years-old, was killed by their Indonesian domestic helper who was alone with her in the house. Her mother, a teacher, was at work and her three sisters were at school.

The police have been investigating the case, but have not yet provided any explanation that would shed light on the causes of the murder that shook Saudi society and prompted several women teachers to petition the education ministry to set up nurseries and kindergartens in their schools to help ensure the safety of their children.

Tala’s family have said that they never suspected the helper would kill their daughter and insisted that she treated the children well and that she was praised by neighbours and visitors.

On Saturday, a religious court looking into the case said that interpreters were needed for the helper’s testimony and that they would endorse the investigation report only after they listen to her directly, even though she has reportedly admitted the crime.

An enactment of the home tragedy will follow, the court said, local Arabic daily Okaz reported on Sunday. However, it would be most likely be done at the police station.

Meanwhile, the traffic authorities said that their investigation into the road accident that resulted in two deaths would proceed normally and that it would not be affected by the tragedy that struck the Al Shihri family.

“The traffic authorities do not get emotionally involved in any accident and apply the rules regardless of what happened,” Omar Al Nazawi, a spokesman for the traffic directorate in Medina, said, quoted by the daily.

Investigations into the accident were suspended until Al Shihri left the hospital where he was being kept under surveillance and until the end of the condolences.

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