Middle East

Parents’ heartfelt appeal to female Saudi child-snatcher sentenced to death for abducting 3 babies

MAKKAH: The parents of a child snatched in 1996 by a Saudi woman, nicknamed the Dammam Kidnapper, on Thursday made a heartfelt appeal for her to reveal their son’s whereabouts after a court sentenced her to death.
Noori Habtoor, the father of missing Nassim Habtoor, said he feared that if the Saudi Criminal Court’s ruling in the triple abduction case was carried out his family may never discover the boy’s fate.
The female kidnapper, who was also on trial for taking two other baby boys, has refused to say where Nassim, who would now be in his 20s, is located. The court hearing in Dammam, in the Kingdom’s Eastern Province, also sentenced a Yemeni, who assisted her, to 25 years in prison.
Habtoor told Arab News: “We want her (the kidnapper) to talk and reveal the information she has. I wish that Nassim’s mother and I could talk to her in private, so that she reveals our son’s location before it is too late.”
He said that the third child kidnapped by the woman in Dammam, Youssef Al-Amari, was snatched on Sept. 9, 1996, and Nassim 10 days later, both from the same place.
The kidnapper had testified to taking a child from Dammam Corniche at about the same time that Nassim vanished. The other children were kidnapped from a hospital in the city.
“The kidnapper did not admit to kidnapping the rest of the babies, let alone Nassim. The evidence is conclusive in her sentencing, but she is playing deaf and mute instead of confessing to his location, while knowing about our ongoing search and our heartache,” added Habtoor.
The other child that disappeared was Moussa Al-Khanizi. His father, Ali Al-Khanizi, told Arab News that the trial had been fair and impartial, and that its outcome had “satisfied” the family after years of waiting, sleeplessness, and pain.
He said Moussa’s mother had experienced immense suffering after the son she gave birth to disappeared in the blink of an eye, adding that the woman kidnapper should now disclose any criminal accomplices and reveal Nassim’s whereabouts.
“We all realize that the kidnapper knows Nassim Habtoor’s location, and is evading the disclosure of his location, and in this regard, we are urging her son, lawyer, brothers, and relatives to help us, and whether she kidnapped other babies.
“This would make us stand with her and demand reducing her sentence, otherwise, she will face the death penalty,” Al-Khanizi added.
Lawyer Hisham Al-Faraj said the court judges’ verdict reflected the serious nature of the crime and hoped the death penalty would act as a deterrent to others.
“The judicial right is guaranteed even for those proven guilty due to the systems in the country, and even for those proven guilty in such crimes and sentenced to death, the Court of Appeals’ verification is obligatory, which means that the case will be referred to the first degree court and the court of appeals to ensure that the defendant deserves the death penalty.
“Even after the investigation of the Court of Appeals with judges who have decades of experience, the decision is not final. In order to ensure people’s rights, it is the Supreme Court’s duty — that has judges with around 40 years of experience — to look into the case in the death penalty,” Al-Faraj added.

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