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Trial by Fire - Did Texas execute an innocent man?

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The fire moved quickly through the house, a one-story wood-frame structure in a working-class neighborhood of Corsicana, in northeast Texas. Flames spread along the walls, bursting through doorways, blistering paint and tiles and furniture. Smoke pressed against the ceiling, then banked downward, seeping into each room and through crevices in the windows, staining the morning sky.
Buffie Barbee, who was eleven years old and lived two houses down, was playing in her back yard when she smelled the smoke. She ran inside and told her mother, Diane, and they hurried up the street; that’s when they saw the smoldering house and Cameron Todd Willingham standing on the front porch, wearing only a pair of jeans, his chest blackened with soot, his hair and eyelids singed. He was screaming, “My babies are burning up!” His children—Karmon and Kameron, who were one-year-old twin girls, and two-year-old Amber—were trapped inside.
Willingham told the Barbees to call the Fire Department, and while Dia…

Saudi Arabia: Six Indonesians on death row released after Indonesia agreed to pay $106,000 in 'blood money'

Deputy governor of South Kalimantan, Rudy Resnawan, welcomes the six migrant workers rescued from Saudi Arabia's death row on June 4, 2015.
Deputy governor of South Kalimantan, Rudy Resnawan, welcomes the
six migrant workers rescued from Saudi Arabia's death row.
June 3, 2015: Six Indonesian migrant workers sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia were released and arrived home, after the Indonesian Government agreed to pay the blood money.

Saeful Mubarok, Sam'ani Muhammad, Muhammad Mursyidi, Ahrtati, Ahmad Zizi Hartati, Abdul Aziz and Muhammad Daham Supiyani Arifin were sentenced to death over the murder of Pakistani immigrant Zubair bin Hafiz Ghul Muhammad in Mecca in 2006.

During the men's eight years in prison, the Indonesian Embassy, ​​the Consulate General in Jeddah, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the authorities of the South Kalimantan province made various efforts to approach the victim's family and obtain their pardon under Islamic law.

The Indonesian government agreed to pay Saudi Arabia $106,500 for their release.

South Kalimantan Governor Rudy Arifin said the money for the payment of diyat (blood money) came from the Kalimantan province's budget. 

"I thank the Interior Ministry, who gave permission to pay Rp1.3 billion through budget funds," said Rudy, during a welcoming ceremony at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday. 

Meanwhile, the Director of the Protection of Indonesian Citizens and Indonesian Legal Entities, Muhammad Iqbal, said the six men rescued from Saudi Arabia's death row will not face charges in Indonesia.

Sources: www.newzulu.us, CNN Indonesia, Tribune Network, June 3, 2015


Five Indonesians escape death sentence in Saudi Arabia

Five Indonesian migrant workers from Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan, sentenced to death in a murder case in Saudi Arabia have been released by the court after receiving forgiveness from the victim's family.

Foreign Ministry director for Indonesian citizens and legal entities Lalu Muhammad Iqbal said late on Wednesday evening that the five had been granted forgiveness in 2014, but their release had to wait till 2015 as the court required the Indonesian government to pay 400,000 Saudi Arabian riyal (US$107,000) as "diat" or monetary compensation.

"The family did not ask for diat but the court did, considering the victim lost a son," Iqbal said as quoted by Antara news agency.

Therefore, the Foreign Ministry coordinated with the local government of South Kalimantan to secure the money, which was eventually taken from the local budget.

The five Indonesian migrant workers -- Saiful Mubarak, Sam'ani Muhammad, Muhammad Mursyidi, Ahmad Zizi Hartati and Abdul Aziz Supiyani, aided by Muhammad Daham Arifin -- killed Saudi Arabian Zubair bin Hafiz Ghul Muhammad in 2006.

"He [Muhammad Daham Arifin] was just a facilitator who helped them buy cement to bury the victim without being aware of their intention," Iqbal explained.

The release of the five raises the number of citizens freed from the death penalty with the help of the Indonesian government to 34 this year, comprising 10 people in Saudi Arabia, 12 in Malaysia, 10 in China, and one in both Brunei and Thailand.

Source: The Jakarta Post, June 04, 2015

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