By Maryam Azwer
An official at the Ministry of External Affairs said that efforts were being made to have Rowan Kumar, pardoned on a blood-money agreement. Rowan Kumar is a Sri Lankan who was recently sentenced to face a firing squad in Dubai after being found guilty of murdering a Nepalese man. The official, who did not want to be named said, “The wife of the man killed and her relatives have indicated a desire to pardon him, and have agreed to a blood-money settlement.”
He explained that according to the Islamic jurisprudence prevailing in the Middle East, an appeal can be made to pardon someone even after he has been sentenced to death, if the aggrieved party agrees to accept a certain amount as ‘blood-money’.
“An appeal can be made to pardon the convict even after the final judgement is delivered,” he said. He said that the first appeal made to pardon Kumar, 23, had been turned down, and that Sri Lankan authorities were trying to make another appeal to higher authorities in Dubai.
A date for Kumar’s execution has not yet been set, he said.
He also said that Sri Lanka’s Consul General in Dubai is doing everything in his power to look into this issue.
When The Sunday Leader contacted Consul General Wasantha Senanayake, he refused to comment on this issue, stating that the Consular Affairs Division of the Ministry of External Affairs be contacted instead.
Director General of Consular Affairs, T. Raveenthiran, when contacted, said the Ministry was keeping an eye on developments, but also added, “I have no power or authority to give any information on this matter.”
Kumar had been found guilty of the June 2009 murder of his Nepalese lover’s husband, and was initially sentenced to life imprisonment.
Last week Dubai’s highest court ordered his execution, on grounds of premeditated murder.