Expat on death row pardoned, closer to reprieve


Thiruvananthapuram : A Kerala youth facing death in Kuwait for murdering his co-worker moved closer to a reprieve Tuesday as the wife of the victim pardoned him on receiving Rs.1 million as compensation.

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A. Rema Devi, wife of deceased Suresh, signed the papers necessary to be presented to a Kuwaiti court to pardon 26-year-old Simil, who had accidentally killed Suresh during a scuffle after a cricket match.

P. Sabu, village council member from Simil’s hometown in Shertalai near Alapuzha, told IANS over telephone from Cuddapah in Andhra Pradesh that Devi, 26, had signed the papers and the Rs.1 million compensation had been handed over to her.

Sabu said that as agreed with Devi, Rs.500,000 each has been deposited for a fixed term in the name of her two children – Karthik, 6, and Deepthi, 4.

An amount of Rs.500,000 promised by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy would be shared equally between Devi and Suresh’s mother.

Simil, currently lodged in a jail in Kuwait, can now breathe easy because according to Kuwaiti laws, only the kin of the victim can extend a pardon.

The Kerala youth, working in a resort in Kuwait, accidentally stabbed his friend, Suresh, on Nov 21, 2007. The sharp Kuwaiti knife sliced through 31-year-old Suresh’s neck, who died within minutes.

Simil went to the nearest police station and confessed his crime. He belongs to a poor fisherman’s family and had gone to Kuwait after mortgaging his house to pay for the passage.

“Devi understood from Suresh’s friends in Kuwait that this had happened accidentally and hence she agreed to pardon Simil,” Sabu said.

Leader of the opposition in Kerala Oommen Chandy said he was relieved that Devi had signed the papers. He had taken the initiative to raise the compensation from Malayalis in Kuwait.

“Rs.600,000 was given by K.G. Abraham, a businessman in Kuwait, and the rest came from a few friends of mine there. They have also taken up the responsibility of meeting the legal expenses of Simil when the case comes up in court next month,” Chandy told IANS.