A court in Amman, Jordan, has ruled in favour of hanging an Iraqi woman partly responsible in an attack that killed more than 60 people last November in Amman.
Al-Rishawi has been sentenced to death by a judge, after failing to obtain a psychological evaluation. Her lawyer, Hussein Al-Masri argued she came from a dysfunctional family that had a history of schizophrenia.
Al-Rishawi was arrested four days after the attack in Amman, Jordan, at a luxury hotel. It was a triple bomb attack amid a Jordanian wedding in the reception centre of the hotel. Al-Rishawi was with her husband, Ali Hussein al-Shammari, and two other Iraqis, on a suicide mission. Her husband and the two Iraqis prevailed by blowing themselves up, however the explosives attached to Al-Rishawi’s body failed to ignite.
The attack was aimed at foreigners residing at the luxury Radisson SAS, Grand Hyatt and Days Inn hotels, which are usually crowded with tourists. Jordan was the perfect setting for the “terrorists” because of its pivotal alliance with Washington.
Al-Qaeda has since insisted it carried out the attacks last November. Among the three suicide bombers who were enlisted on the original charge sheet was the infamous Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, an al-Qaeda Iraqi leader, who was killed in a US raid in June.
As the Jordanian judge read out “The court has decided to sentence to death by hanging Sajida al-Rishawi for conspiracy to carry out terror acts,” Al-Rishawi remained apathetic.
Six other assailants who had already been charged and are reportedly still at large were also sentenced to death in their absence. The judge who passed on the sentencing remains anonymous by Jordanian law. In Jordan it is illegal to identify a Judge’s name.
Al-Rishawi had pleaded not guilty. She told the court that her confessions were made under duress and once she accused Jordanian officials of torture, only to retract her statement minutes later and say investigators yelled at her.
One of the SAS hotel’s chain owner, Mary Nazzal-Batayneh, at the time of the bombings claimed “there was blood, human remains and hair everywhere. It was extremely gruesome; women’s shoes and bags were strewn amongst broken glass.”