Madina court corruption caseMADINA: A Madina court judge’s claims that he was “under a magic spell” at the time of offenses for which he has been held on charges of corruption has led to a series of conundrums being posed by lawyers involved in the case.
The judge allegedly accepted money to ease real estate cases through his court, but later told investigators that he was put “under a spell” by a real estate broker wanted in connection with the affair, and that the latter had “taken control of his thoughts” and made him rule on cases “without being conscious of committing any illegal act”.
Fayez Al-Qathami, a well-known practitioner of “ruqya” – healing through Quranic recitation – then claimed that he questioned a “jinni”- or “genie”, as traditionally rendered in English – that spoke through the judge and identified the broker as the caster of the spell.
On Thursday, however, a new ball was thrown into the court when Salim Bin Atiya, the lawyer defending the “spell-casting” broker, demanded that Al-Qathami bring the genie to court so that his statements could be heard.
“If what the judge says is true, then the genie is either immoral or an unbeliever sent by a magic practitioner who has left the bounds of religion, as acts of magic by necessity require one to abandon the realm of Islam and enter the realm of unbelief,” Bin Atiya said.
The lawyer added, however, that the “genie’s words cannot be admissible or taken into consideration when making a Shariah judgment”, and said that if Al-Qathami was unable to prove his claims that a genie spoke through the judge then he too should be prosecuted.
Another lawyer, Saleh Al-Saq’abi, expressed his bewilderment at Al-Qathami’s “silence all these years” and failure to reveal that a genie had possessed a judge responsible for issues affecting people’s lives.
“He has committed an offense by not informing the authorities where the judge worked, a judge that had final say over important affairs,” he said. “He knew that the judge was a victim of magic and that such people are not competent to hold positions of authority, and if his seniors had known the judge would have been removed from his post.”
Saudi Gazette reported Friday that the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (the Hai’a) had denied attending licensed ruqya sessions conducted on persons said to be under the influence of magic, after Al-Qathami claimed that Hai’a members were present when he treated the judge.
“This is not part of our remit,” the Hai’a said. “We did not send anyone to attend the session in which the judge accused of corruption underwent treatment.”
Al-Qathami maintained his claims, however.
“Ruqya practitioners usually call Hai’a members to patient treatment sessions to attest to the patient’s condition and register statements,” Al-Qathami said. “Two members of the Hai’a came to the (judge’s) session and documented what the genie said through the tongue of the judge.”
He said the Hai’a noted down information concerning the judge’s “private and public life, and the name of the real estate broker”.
The Madina judge was first taken into custody during Ramadan for allegedly accepting bribes to arrange through his court illegal ownership of real estate. Several businessmen and state employees along with seven engineering and planning firms are all suspected of involvement in the various cases that passed through his courtroom.
– Okaz/Saudi Gazette