American charged with wife’s murder

Updated 22 August 2013
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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. 


First group of Sri Lankan Muslims begin Hajj journey

Updated 17 July 2019
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First group of Sri Lankan Muslims begin Hajj journey

  • 4,000 to partake in this year’s pilgrimage after Saudi Arabia increased quota

COLOMBO: Nearly 180 Sri Lankan Hajj pilgrims left for Saudi Arabia on Monday night, but not before thanking the Kingdom for the comprehensive facilities offered to them.

Mohamed Hashim Mohamed Haleem, Sri Lanka’s minister of postal services and Muslim religious affairs, said that this year’s issuing of Hajj visas was smooth due to the new e-Hajj services introduced by the Saudi government. 

“We were able to process all 4,000 Hajj visas efficiently. All of them were issued well in time,” Haleem said.

He added that officials from his ministry will be available at the airport to assist the pilgrims with their departures.

The minister said the flights of pilgrims this year will be ferried by both Saudi Arabian Airlines and Sri Lankan Airlines. Haleem, who intends to participate in this year’s Hajj, said that the last flight of Sri Lankan pilgrims will leave Colombo on Aug. 7.

Sajjath Mohammed, a journalist from Madawala News, praised the e-Hajj service, saying: “The biometric services for the visas were available to pilgrims in Kandy and Batticaloa in addition to Colombo, the capital of the island.”

Rizmi Reyal, president of the International Airline Ticketing Academy in Sri Lanka, said that this year the Hajj services from Colombo have been enhanced to give a better experience to the pilgrims. He thanked the Saudi government, the Muslim Religious Affairs Ministry in Colombo, the Saudi Embassy in Colombo and the Sri Lankan Embassy in Riyadh for playing their part in these improvements.

The Sri Lankan government will also send a medical team to attend to any urgent needs of the pilgrims before they are taken to the nearest medical facilities in the two holy cities.