American charged with wife’s murder

Updated 22 August 2013

American charged with wife’s murder

The General Court in Riyadh is looking into the murder of a Sri Lankan national residing in Riyadh after a representative from the Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution charged her husband, a US national, with her murder.
A local daily reported that the accused, a Christian who converted to Islam while he was in detention, disposed of the body by stuffing it into a pipeline used for gas and petroleum exploration.  
The newspaper reported that the General Court in Riyadh began its procedures after taking statements from witnesses who used to work with the accused. The Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Riyadh said the mission had hired a lawyer to plead the case of the Sri Lankan woman who was living with her husband in Saudi Arabia. He said he is confident that Saudi law will make sure justice is served.
The murder came to light when the Al-Kharj Governorate police received a call from the company where the accused used to work, saying they had found a stiff body in a seated position stuffed in a special well used for gas and petroleum exploration. Police officials arrested the American on the strength of testimonies given by his Chinese and Saudi co-workers.
The source said the accused had admitted that the victim was his wife. She was stuffed in a pipeline which had been sealed from both sides and was subsequently buried. The American said his wife had been missing for many months because of family and moral conflicts, but he didn’t notify the authorities about her absence.
The source said the American hired several Chinese and Saudi workers to seal and weld the pipeline’s openings after the body was stuffed in, six months before the body was found. The accused worked as a supervisor for gas and petrol excavations for Saudi Aramco.
The source said Chinese workers welded an iron pipeline from one side in one of the excavation sites. The other side of the pipeline connects the pipes together and is welded with iron plates. The accused ordered the Chinese worker to put a semi-circular iron piece on the cover to facilitate opening and closing.
During preliminary police investigation at the scene of crime, the accused gave several versions about his wife’s disappearance. First, he denied he ordered a Chinese worker to weld the pipe and move it next to his room. Then he said he didn’t remember telling him to do that, and later he said he never even saw the pipe and ordered workers to bury the waste and not the pipes.
“The accused tried to mislead detectives by putting clothes and personal belongings of Chinese workers inside the pipe,” the source added. 

Saudi reforms encourage investment in Kingdom: Davos panel

Updated 16 min 6 sec ago

Saudi reforms encourage investment in Kingdom: Davos panel

  • Morgan Stanley’s CEO James Gorman welcomed the social reforms, calling them essential progress to provide the backbone for the economic reforms
  • Saudi Minister of Economy and Planning Mohammad Al-Tuwaijri said to attract investors into Saudi Arabia needed to improve its infrastructure

The recent reforms in the Kingdom have been the drive behind foreign investment in the country, a panel debate on the “Next Steps for Saudi Arabia” at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos said Thursday.

Chairperson of the board of directors of the Saudi Stock Exchange, Sarah Al-Suhaimi said WEF reports reflected the positive changes in Saudi Arabia that had improved the country’s ranking in terms of investment.

“We have worked on developing the financial system of the capital market,” Al-Suhaimi told the panel, adding that in 2018 Saudi Arabia joined the FTSE Emerging Index which provides investors with a comprehensive means of measuring the performance

Saudi Minister of Economy and Planning Mohammad Al-Tuwaijri said to attract investors into Saudi Arabia needed to improve its infrastructure, which he says the Kingdom had been working on. This includes the 68 initiatives that were introduced last year to help the private sector.

Al-Tuwaijri also said unemployment rates had been kept steady over the past two years, while more women had entered the workforce, which he said played an important role in diversifying Saudi Arabia’s economy.

Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan said that since the “significant economic and social reform,” the GDP of Saudi Arabia grew 2.3 percent in 2018.

In 2019 Saudi Arabia announced a $295 billion budget, which Al-Jadaan says with help the growth of the economy and create more jobs.

“We are determined to reduce the deficit from 19 percent to 5 percent,” he said.

Morgan Stanley’s CEO James Gorman welcomed the social reforms, calling them essential progress to provide the backbone for the economic reforms.

Meanwhile, French oil major Total’s chief executive Patrick Pouyanne said that Total was investing heavily in Saudi Arabia and that a petrol network in be established soon in the Kingdom.

When pressed by journalists on the Jamal Khashoggi case – the journalist who was killed in the Saudi embassy in Istanbul last year – Al-Jadaan said that Saudi Arabia was taking serious measures to hold those involved accountable.

Prosecutors in Saudi Arabia have said they will seek the death penalty for five defendants accused the murder of the journalist Khashoggi.

“We are absolutely sad about what happened to Jamal Khashoggi. Everyone in Saudi Arabia is sad. It goes against our beliefs and morals,” Al-Jadaan said, adding that the government has restructured the intelligence service as a result of the incident.