Dubai: An Iraqi man who had been sentenced to death for 'killing' his wife by setting her on fire and dumping her body into a river has been acquitted after she was found alive and well, local media reported.
According to media reports, the story began when the man went to the police to report the sudden disappearance of his wife. He was interrogated back then and forced to confess that he killed his wife. Investigators alleged the man had killed his wife and dumped her body into a river but police failed to find her body.
Following his forced confession, the man was sentenced to death although police found no tangible evidence against him. Some local media agencies have reported the man was subject to severe physical torture to force him to confess.
The Babylon police had published a video of the man 'enacting' the murder in the presence of the provincial police chief, and a large media delegation from the capital, Baghdad. The video stirred up public outrage against the young man at the time.
According to the video, the suspect said he took his wife to visit a religious shrine, and while returning, he stopped near the river, strangled her, burned her body, and then returned his home.
According to the media director of the governorate police command, Brigadier General Adul Al Husseini, an investigation is underway to find out whether the man was subject to torture to make him confess.
He said that after the crime was widely shared on social media, several Iraqi citizens contacted police and informed them about the whereabouts of the woman, which prompted the security forces to go to the place and arrest her.
It turned out there were disputes between the couple, which pushed the wife to run away and disappear.
Many Iraqi social media users asked authorities to explain how they obtained the man’s confessions, demanding the minister of interior step down.