Saudi Arabia’s executioner mounted the platform, raised his sword and was about to bring it down on the killer’s head in a packed field in the Gulf Kingdom before he abruptly stopped at hearing a man shouting through a loudspeaker. The man, who was the victim’s father, declared he had pardoned the killer.
Hundreds of people had arrived into the execution field in the western town of Madina amidst tight security to witness the beheading of Abdul Aziz bin Ibrahim Al Anzi, a young Saudi convicted of murdering his friend Mamdouh bin Mutab Al Fakeer, another young Saudi, during a fight five years ago.
The victim’s father, Mutab Al Fakeer, was among the crowd as he had rebuffed previous attempts to pardon the killer and accept blood money that could have led to the release of Abdul Aziz under Islamic law.
“As the swordsman was about to bring his sword down and cut off Abdul Aziz’s head, he immediately stopped when the victim’s father screamed through a loudspeaker that he had pardoned the killer of his son,” the Saudi Arabic language daily Alriyadh said on Tuesday.
“He announced that he was pardoning the killer in response to mediation by the Monarch and many other people….as he made the announcement and the execution was halted, the crowd began shouting ‘Allah Akbar (God is great)…God the Almighty has given Abdul Aziz a new life.”