1 March 2018

Sudan: True to Say That Crime is Useless

This is another strange legal case Attorney, Doctor, Hazim Awad al-Karrem, has chosen to relate to Sudanow Magazine:

A forty-year old woman had used to suffer from a mild heart ailment from time to time. She would be hospitalized for a few days and then discharged when the pain was over.

This time things were different. The reason is that while going through the patient's dossier, a nurse on duty in hospital came to discover that the woman she was tending to was her father's second wife (her mother's darra (foe) as she is called in Sudan). After making her checks and balances, the nurse decided to take revenge on the woman whom she blamed for the misery of her mother and the cause of her divorce from her husband (the nurse's father).

The nurse started to give the patient overdoses from the prescribed medicines. She sometimes mixed anesthetics with the intravenous solutions the patient was having. The woman's health deteriorated sharply and was finally paralyzed and slid into a coma. She was moved into intensive care for four days, but no use, she died.

One of the deceased's brothers, who happened to be a medical doctor, felt something unnatural because he knew thoroughly well that his sister's condition was not that serious. He filed a legal case against the hospital, claiming a medical error. The hospital's manager and nursing staff were questioned. A team of doctors were called to check all the medicines the deceased was having. The doctors reported that, as they were, the medicines were harmless if taken in normal dozes and the judge overruled the case.

But the deceased's brother remained doubtful about his sister's death. And one day he came to learn that the nurse in charge of his sister was in fact the daughter of her husband's former wife. He realized that he was right in his doubts and filed another judicial case; this time directly against the nurse.

Summoned and faced with the charge, the nurse broke down under the feeling of guilt and confessed to her crime. She was tried under article 130 of the Sudan Penal Code (premeditated murder) on the basis of her confession.

But her defense attorney called for a panel of experts to verify whether the drugs taken by the deceased were lethal or not. The panel ruled that, if taken in overdoses in a health condition similar to that of the deceased, the drugs can certainly lead to death.

The court convicted the accused of premeditated murder. But the closest relatives of the deceased, upon the request of intermediaries, saved the nurse from the gallows by disclaiming their right to the Qisas; according to the Moslem Sharia'a Penal Code. (Qisas is taking the life of the convict in a murder case. In cases of injuries the Qisas is also applied).

The court then changed her conviction to murder by mistake and sent her to jail, where she is still languishing.

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