AMMAN - A Jordanian military court has sentenced to death a failed female
suicide bomber for triple hotel attacks in Amman last year that killed 60 people
and shook one of the most stable nations in the Middle East.
"Sajida Mubarak al-Rishawi, the court has decided to sentence you to death
along with the accused fugitives for conspiracy to carry out terror acts using
explosives that led to the death of individuals," the presiding judge said
Photos taken from Jordanian TV show Iraqi Sajida Mubarak
al-Rishawi, who accompanied her husband on a suicide mission in Amman and
failed to detonate her explosive belt, displaying the belt during a
televised confession on November 13, 2005. A Jordanian military court has
sentenced Rishawi to death for triple hotel attacks in Amman last year
that killed 60 people and shook one of the most stable nations in the
Rishawi, an Iraqi, had been paraded on state television confessing to her
role in the November 2005 attacks in which her husband blew himself up during a
wedding party in an Amman hotel.
She was the only one of the accused to appear in court since the high-profile
trial opened in April. Among those on the original charge sheet were three
suicide bombers and top Al-Qaeda operative Abu Musab al-Zarqawi who claimed the
attacks and was killed in a US raid in Iraq in June.
The others still at large include five Iraqi nationals, among them a woman,
and a Jordanian.
Rishawi, who had pleaded not guilty, remained impassive in her metal cage
throughout the hearing, turning her face towards a wall apparently to avoid any
eye contact as the verdict was read out.
Defence lawyer Hussein al-Masri told AFP he would appeal.
"The verdict is not final and we will appeal it within 30 days in accordance
with the law."
Rishawi, in her mid-30s, was clad in a blue prison uniform with a black scarf
covering her head for the hearing, but was not handcuffed.
The judge, who cannot be named under Jordanian law, also sentenced the
accused for illegal possession of explosives "for illicit use".
The state prosecutor had renewed his demand for the death penalty for those
behind the attacks against one of the top US allies in the region.
"The Jordanian people, the families of the victims and the security forces
look forward to justice being done and that the highest penalty - death by
hanging - be served," he said.