Saudi Arabia executed Monday three Sri Lankans found guilty of robbing and murdering a Saudi national, Omar Yeslam Saeed, on May 11, 2007, the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Six Sri Lanka nationals and two other foreign nationals were arrested in connection to the case by the Saudi authorities. From the time of the arrest of the six Sri Lanka nationals, the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Jeddah continuously extended all consular assistance required by the Sri Lanka nationals, the Sri Lanka Foreign Ministry said.
When the case was first taken up and the verdict pronounced, three of the six Sri Lanka nationals were given the death sentence and the other three were sentenced to imprisonment of varying terms and lashes in 2008.
The three Sri Lanka nationals who were sentenced to imprisonment and lashes were deported to Sri Lanka, after completing their sentences.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Consulate General in Jeddah continued to render necessary consular assistance to the three convicted Sri Lankans. Assistance was also provided in connection with their appeals to the Saudi judicial authorities, the statement said. However, the death sentences remained unchanged.
Sri Lanka’s then Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Hussain Mohammed met with the Governor of Mecca in February 2015 and as a result of the meeting, the execution, which was due to take place earlier this year, was delayed, enabling the Government of Sri Lanka to make further appeals.
However, due to the nature and gravity of the crime, the payment of blood money was not accepted, despite the numerous appeals and attempts by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment, Sri Lanka’s Embassy in Riyadh and the Consulate General in Jeddah, to spare the lives of the three convicts sentenced to death, the Sri Lanka government said.
The release further said that the Government of Sri Lanka continued to make appeals to the Saudi authorities and in this context, Rauf Hakeem, the then Minister of Urban Development, Water Supply and, Drainage, accompanied by the then Ambassador, Hussain Mohammed, handed over a clemency request from the President of Sri Lanka addressed to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and King of Saudi Arabia, to Crown Prince H.R.H. Mohomed Bin Naif Bin Abdul Aziz on May 18, 2015.
However, the Ministry of Interior of Saudi Arabia announced Monday that according to the Saudi law, the three convicted Sri Lanka nationals were executed in Jeddah today on the charges of murder and robbery, the Foreign Ministry statement further added.