After 26 Years, There’s Speedy Resolution To A Long-Lost Case

RIYADH, 26 June 2007 — It took 26 years, but the family of an expatriate royal driver who was accidentally run over and killed by another driver to King Khaled on Nov. 25, 1981, has received SR100,000 in blood money.

“The whole credit to settle the case and pay blood money goes to Princess Moudhi bint Khaled ibn Abdul Aziz (daughter to the late king) who wanted immediate settlement of the matter as per Islamic justice system and as per the late King Khaled’s wishes,” said Anwar Hussain, the attorney representing the family of Omaruddin Bhutta, the worker who was killed in the accident.

Hussain managed to help bring to light the long-dormant case, which languished unresolved in a file at the Nasseriya Traffic Police Station in Riyadh.

The case raises questions about how some criminal proceedings can be lost in the system. This case is unique because King Khaled himself had asked that the case be resolved in favor of the victim of the accident, apparently recognition of the driver’s fault in this accident.

According to kinship documents in an Indian court, widow Emana Khatoon and two sons, Mohammed Ayoob Bhutta and Moahmmed Rafiq Bhutta, are the surviving family members of the deceased. Bhutta’s family members live in a remote village of Rajasthan province in India. The low-income family members received the SR100,000 windfall this week.

“The money will go a long way in helping poor members of the bereaved family back home in India,” said Hussain. “I salute the Saudi justice system.”

“In Islam, the life of the human being is most important, which is evident from the decision of the court and generosity of the royal family,” said Fahd Al-Tayash, an advisor at Crown Prince Sultan’s Court.

Tayash, who has been following the case very intimately, said: “I am greatly influenced by the humanitarian gestures of the heirs of late King Khaled.”

“And, I am equally impressed with the judiciary’s decision. The case was decided in one hearing only (after 26 years as a cold case).”

The case was heard in the court of Judge Ahmad ibn Sulaiman Al-Orainin. It was established by the court that the accident was caused by Mukhtar Ali Issa, a Nigerian national, and Mohammed Makhdoom, an Indian national, who were working for late King Khaled at that time.

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