The Government says appeals for clemency for the three Sri Lankans sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia had been rejected, resulting in the execution of the three Sri Lankans today.
A statement by the Foreign Ministry said that a Saudi national, Omar Yeslam Saeed, was murdered and then robbed in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on 11 May 2007. Six Sri Lanka nationals and two other foreign nationals were arrested in this connection by the Saudi authorities.
From the time of the arrest of the six Sri Lanka nationals, the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Jeddah continuously extended all consular assistance required by the Sri Lanka nationals.
When the case was taken up and the verdict pronounced, three out of the six Sri Lanka nationals were given the death sentence and the other three were sentenced to imprisonment of varying terms and lashes in 2008.
The three Sri Lanka nationals who were sentenced to imprisonment and lashes were deported to Sri Lanka, after completing their sentences.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Consulate General in Jeddah continued to render necessary consular assistance to the three convicted Sri Lankans. Assistance was also provided in connection with their appeals to the Saudi judicial authorities. However, the death sentences remained unchanged.
Sri Lanka’s then Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Hussain Mohammed met with the Governor of Mecca in February 2015 and as a result of the meeting, the execution, which was due to take place earlier this year, was delayed, enabling the Government of Sri Lanka to make further appeals.
However, due to the nature and gravity of the crime, the payment of blood money was not accepted, despite the numerous appeals and attempts by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment, Sri Lanka’s Embassy in Riyadh and the Consulate General in Jeddah, in order to spare the lives of the three convicts sentenced to death.
The Government of Sri Lanka continued to make appeals to the Saudi authorities and in this context, Rauf Hakeem, the then Minister of Urban Development, Water Supply and, Drainage, accompanied by the then Ambassador Hussain Mohammed, handed over a clemency request from the President of Sri Lanka addressed to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and King of Saudi Arabia, to Crown Prince H.R.H. Mohomed Bin Naif Bin Abdul Aziz on 18th May 2015
The Ministry of Interior of Saudi Arabia announced today, 17th August 2015 that according to the Saudi law, the three convicted Sri Lanka nationals were executed in Jeddah today on the charges of murder and robbery. (Colombo Gazette)