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Joy rider in fatal accident sentenced to death

Last updated: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 2:36 PM

Saudi Gazette report



BURAIDAH — A joy rider accused of causing the deaths of two onlookers during one of his stunts has been sentenced to death by a court in Unaizah after a protracted trial, a local newspaper reported on its Web edition Monday.

Col. Fahd Al-Habdan, spokesman of Al-Qassim police, said the unemployed Saudi in his 30s had invited his fans to the Unaizah governorate through his website named Mutannish to witness him in action. The officer said the man had rented a car from a rental company in Riyadh region and had prepared meals for his fans.

While performing the stunt, the man knocked down a youth who fell on another onlooker. Both died on the spot after the joy rider fled from the scene without providing help to the victims, Al-Riyadh Online quoted the official as saying.

The stunt-driver remained in hiding until his arrest.

The man was arraigned after extensive investigations and the court sentenced him to beheading by sword after a long trial.

Investigations revealed that the man was already wanted for causing the death of another Saudi youth in a similar incident.

Faisal Al-Otaibi, a Saudi naval officer found guilty of causing the death of three minors in a stunt-driving accident in 2005, was sentenced to 3,000 lashes, 20 years in prison and a lifetime ban on driving by a Jeddah court in February 2009. The Supreme Court later upheld the verdict rejecting an appeal by the defendant to reduce the sentence pronounced by Judge Muhammad Amin Mirdad. Mirdad had reduced an earlier death sentence issued in November 2007.

Al-Otaibi, known in the media by nickname “Abu Kab” — which means roughly “the guy with the baseball cap” — fought a two-year highly publicized legal battle in a Jeddah court to avoid execution for the deaths of three young passengers accompanying him in his vehicle.

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