Indonesian maid pardoned for baby’s murder hosts parents

Maid had been convicted of murder of baby and deported from Saudi Arabia but insisted on her innocence

Manama: A house worker who was sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia in 2009 for killing the baby of her employers, but was pardoned by them, has hosted the couple in her home in Indonesia.

Ghaleb Bin Nasser Al Balawi and his wife, from Tabuk, were invited by the Indonesian government to visit the country in recognition of their decision to pardon their employee, Masamah, even though she was convicted by a court of killing their 11-month daughter.

The couple went to see their former employee in Cirebon and ensure she was faring well in her home in west Java, Saudi daily Al Riyadh reported.

The worker had insisted that she was innocent and that her fingerprints on the baby’s face, which were used as evidence to convict her, were after she tried to revive her after she found her unconscious.

She was sentenced to five years in 2014, but the prosecutor appealed the ruling and a judge sentenced her to death in 2016.

She challenged the death sentence and as she was put on trial in March last year, Al Balawi told the court that he pardoned her.

Under Saudi laws, the next of kin to the victim can pardon the killer and receive blood money.

Al Balawi said that although they received several offers to forgive Masamah, his family rejected them and pardoned her without asking for anything in return.

All we wanted was God’s mercy, he said in Jakarta during a meeting with the Saudi ambassador, Osama Bin Mohammad Al Shuaibi.

The house worker returned to home country in March after she was allowed to leave by the Saudi authorities.

A delegation from the Indonesian foreign ministry accompanied the Saudi couple during their emotional visit.

The one-week trip offered by the Indonesian government included visits to several tourism sites in the archipelago country.

Several social media users hailed the “forgiving character of the family and the generous appreciation of the Indonesian government.”


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