A Saudi royal prince might receive the death penalty for murdering another Saudi.
According to Arab News
, the English-language newspaper of Saudi Arabia that is owned by the Royal family, Crown Prince Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, has cleared the way for the possible execution.
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"Shariah (Islamic law) shall be applied to all without exception," Prince Salman said in a message to Interior Minister Prince Muhammad bin Naif. "There is no difference between big and small, rich and poor. The powerful are weak before God’s law until others get their rights from them while the weak are powerful until their rights are protected."
The name of the prince and his victim were withheld from media reports.
Prince Salman's statement came after the victim's father reportedly expressed his dissatisfaction with the amount of blood money, a standard practice in the Middle East, offered to his family by the Royals for the murder.
The families of murder victims are encouraged by authorities to accept blood money instead of insisting on execution, Reuters reported
Saudi Arabia is often criticized by the West for the number of executions it hands down via Shariah Law each year. In the first five months in 2013, at least 47 people had been executed in Saudi Arabia under Sharia Law, according to Amnesty International
, which reported that there were approximately 80 government sanctioned deaths in the two years prior.
The execution of members of the Saudi Royal family is rare, but not unheard of.
One of the most well-known executions was that of Faisal bin Musaid al Saud, after he assassinated his uncle, King Faisal, in 1975.
In Saudi Arabia, there are believed to be several thousand members of the Royal family, however only a handful hold the government's top positions.
In November, neighboring Kuwait’s Supreme Court upheld a death sentence for a member of its Royal family, Sheikh Faisal Abdullah Al-Sabah, after he was convicted of killing his nephew. The pair were apparently arguing over a membership to a sports club when Al-Sabah shot his relation to death in a palace, the Arab News reported
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