The Supreme Court has rejected a sentence appeal by a Syrian man who killed his wife’s lover in Chloraka, after the murder convict argued that a Paphos criminal court failed to take into account his emotional distress and clean police record.
A Syrian man, who was sentenced to 17 years in prison for the murder of 20-year-old Jamal Alhadz, also from Syria, lost an appeal this week when he argued before the highest court in the land that his sentence was excessive.
The criminal trial had ended in the appellant’s murder conviction and sentence, one year for each stab, after it emerged he had knifed Alhadz 17 times, with the Supreme Court bench saying the crime was egregious and premeditated.
The husband denied premeditation and further argued he acted under immense emotional distress and embarrassment
“The Criminal Court accurately noted that the use of the knife, which resulted in the death of the victim with 17 stab wounds, was correctly tied to the seriousness of the offense committed by the appellant, attributing both premeditation to him as well as knife possession,” the bench said.
Alhadz was stabbed multiple times in Vrexi during an altercation along a road between Chloraka and Kato Paphos in April 2020. His body was discovered in a coastal area, with some individuals implicated in the incident saying they intended only to scare the victim and others saying they went to stop the fight.
Crime of passion defense
But the 23-year-old killer, who admitted the offense, denied premeditation and further argued the knife had been brought to the scene by another individual, adding he acted under immense emotional distress and embarrassment.
Local media said the perpetrator had found out five days prior to the incident that his wife had a love affair with Alhadz, who reportedly was in love and wanted to marry her.
But the spouse says his clean police record and his emotional state due to the cheating involved had not been taken into account by the judges to mitigate his sentence, an argument dismissed by the Supreme Court.
“It is our judgment that the Criminal Court carefully and correctly weighed every factor and took into account every point in the defense of the appellant,” the bench said.
The Supreme Court appeal judges also sided with the criminal court in concluding there had been no provocation on the part of the victim, pointing out the affair was made known to the husband five days earlier.
“However, the fact that the appellant became aware of his wife's love affair with the victim five days earlier, as well as the verbal exchange between the appellant and the victim, who responded that he loved his wife and wished to marry her, it was correctly judged by the Criminal Court that these were circumstances that did not constitute a provocation on the part of the victim,” the bench concluded.
The Supreme Court rejected the appeal for a reduced sentence, finding the 17-year-sentence was neither excessive nor disproportional to the case.