RIYADH - A 40-year-old Saudi businessman has been sentenced to death by the Saudi General Court after heinously refusing to prevent his own murder.
Harim al-Batar received the harshest possible punishment when he was sentenced to death by stoning by a panel of General Court judges.
"We must uphold the Saudi judicial system's reputation for impartial and just sentencing," said General Court judge Farad al-Bazir. "We can't just have victims running rampant and threatening the safety of our kingdom."
Al-Batar's lawyer was not at all surprised by the court's decision. "As far as I'm concerned, he got what he deserved," said Akbar al-Sheik. "Sometimes I can't sleep at night because I have to defend these kinds of monsters who allow such terrible things to happen to themselves. And he didn't even show up for the trial, what nerve!"
Comparisons are being made between the al-Batar judgment and a similar sentence handed down earlier this week, where a 19-year-old gang rape-victim was received 200 lashes as punishment for her victimization.
"Thankfully, with today's verdict, we have upheld the Saudi tradition of being tough on victims," said lead prosecutor Ibrahim al-Shahir.
"Thankfully this is at least one victim who won't be running free in our streets," said a criminal's rights activist.
Riyadh police were put on high alert, as the al-Batar victimization could be the latest in a string of such events.
"We have told our officers to remain extremely vigilant while searching for other potential victims," said Police Commissioner Bernahd al-Kerik. "We are advising citizens to stay indoors at night and to avoid dark alleyways, where victims tend to lurk."