Filipino facing execution given time to raise blood money

Published:  19 Nov at 6 PM
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Tagged: Australia, Money
The family of a Filipino expat worker awaiting the death penalty in Saudi Arabia has been given four extra months to raise the blood money to save his life.

Joselito Zapanta was found guilty of the murder of a Sudanese accountant during a dispute over rent payment, and was sentenced to death. Saudi Arabian law allows the families of murder victims to claim blood money as an alternative punishment to the death penalty, with the amount demanded by the victim’s family set initially at 55 million pesos.

Zapanta was due to be executed on November 14, but was initially allowed another month to raise the cash, during which time Philippine President Benigno Aquino intervened via a letter to the Saudi king, Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz. At this point in time, Zapanta’s family now have four more months from 14 December to raise the amount, which is also likely to be reduced.

According to a spokesman for Manila’s Foreign Affairs Department, Zapanta’s mother and sister arrived in Saudi Arabia last Tuesday, bearing an initial payment of 4.3 million pesos together with a further letter from Vice-President Binay asking for more time. Representatives of the Saudi ruler and Sudanese Embassy officials also put their requests for more time to the victim’s family.
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