Yemen: Jew killer to pay ”blood money”
A Yemeni court on Monday ordered a man convicted of killing a Jewish father-of-nine to pay US$27,500 in blood money, sparing the man from a death sentence as he was "mentally abnormal."
In a case that has stoked fear in the country's Jewish community, Abdul Aziz Yahya al-Abdi, a 39-nine-year-old Muslim Yemeni, remains in detention after admitting in December to shooting dead Masha Yaeish al-Nahari in the town of Raydah in Amran province.
Nahari's widow and father said they will appeal the sentence and call for the death penalty.
Abdi, a former air force pilot, had repeatedly said he carried out the murder after warning Yemeni Jews that he would kill them unless they converted to Islam. The prosecution had called for a death sentence to be imposed but the court opted for the blood money sentence after medical reports showed Abdi was "mentally abnormal", AFP reported.
As the court session got underway on Monday, the authorities sealed off the court building for fear of a violent backlash in the village north of the capital Sanaa. When the verdict was read out, the dozen people present inside the small courtroom voiced relief, except for the victim's widow and father. Police hurried to empty the courtroom as soon as the trial was adjourned and prevented journalists from speaking to people present.
The convicted man reiterated earlier that he "has given the Jews the choice of converting to Islam, leaving Yemen or being killed." Abdi killed his wife five years ago but was spared prison when he was ruled to be of unsound mind.