Manama: The mother of a five-year-old girl who was tortured to death by her father is likely to pardon him to receive “much-needed” diya (blood money).
Luma was killed in 2011 by her father Fayhan Al Ghamdi, a clerical personality who had made several television appearances on Islamic channels. Her father had expressed doubt about her virginity.
The unexpected turnaround by Luma’s mother was attributed to her need for funds as she is struggling to bring up her other children. Acceptance of blood money will allow the father to be spared a jail sentence or execution.
For months, the mother said that she would not forgive her former husband for killing their daughter and all she wanted was to see him put to death for his murder. She had even said that his new wife also deserved to be executed for being an accomplice in Luma’s murder, Saudi daily Al Sharq reported on Thursday.
“I am in deep financial need,” the mother said. “I realise there is no benefit in seeing him behind bars or executed while I am crippled by debts and rents. It has been very tough on me. I need to look after three children and I cannot even follow the trial sessions of Luma’s father and killer. I do know it is a difficult decision, but I have formidable challenges and no real options,” she said.
Four court sessions have been reportedly held, but the ruling has not been pronounced.
Luma’s death in 2012 rocked Saudi Arabia amid reports that she had been savagely tortured by the father, Fayhan Al Ghamdi, who was reported to be working as a preacher.
However, the Saudi Islamic Affairs Ministry said that Al Ghamdi was not an officially sanctioned Islamic preacher. Shaikh Saleh Bin Abdul Aziz Al Shaikh, the minister, said that he had committed a heinous crime and that his crime could never be justified.
Al Ghamdi was found guilty of torturing his daughter Luma to death when she visited him and his new wife at their home. Reports said that he used wires and an iron rod to punish her and that he had expressed doubts about her virginity.
According to the reports, Luma lived with her divorced mother, but she was allowed to visit her father who had taken another wife and moved to the Saudi capital Riyadh.
The mother said that her ex-husband appeared to be a gentle and reformed man after spending years of his life as a drug addict before they got married. However, following the marriage, he turned into a violent man who often beat her and forced her to file for divorce. However, following the separation, she insisted on the custody of her daughter.
A court in the eastern city of Dammam ruled in her favour and she was told by the judge that she would have the custody of the daughter until the girl reached the age of seven.
The woman said that, following the divorce, her former husband had seen their daughter only on four occasions.