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Saudi Beheaded for Killing Wife

May 3, 2000

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) _ A Saudi man convicted of beating and burning his wife to death was executed in northern Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, an Interior Ministry statement said.

Malhi Abdullah al-Qahtani was beheaded in the province of Arar. He was charged with killing Hossa Huzam al-Hajri by beating and burning her in her bed, the statement said.

It gave no other details.

Wednesday’s execution, carried out with a sword in a public square, is the fifth this week. A total of 26 people have been beheaded so far this year, and at least 99 last year.

Saudi Arabia’s interpretation of Islamic law mandates the death penalty for murder, rape, drug trafficking, sodomy or armed robbery.

Human rights organizations complain that the accused are denied access to lawyers and do not receive fair trials.

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