Philippine man on Saudi death-row to walk free

Philippine man on Saudi death-row to walk free

Philippine man on Saudi death-row to walk free

Posted 1 February 2013, 19:48 AEST

Philippine man to be released from death-row after the Saudi Govt pays more than $USD600,000 in 'blood money'.

A Philippine man who has spent more than 12 years in death-row in Saudi Arabia will walk free, after 'blood money' was paid to the victim's family.

39-year-old Rodelio "Dondon" Lanuza was sentenced to death in 2000 after admitting to killing a man, who he said tried to sexually abuse him.

The Philippines' Vice President, Jejomar Binay said Lanuza is expected to be released after the Saudi Government paid approximately $USD 615,000 to the victim's family.

"I am glad to announce that our compatriot has been spared from the death penalty," Mr Binay said in a statement.

The remaining $245,000 of the compensation sought by the victim's family was raised by Lanuza's relatives, he added.

The Saudi embassy in Manila confirmed the deal, saying in a statement that Riyadh "has paid the balance of the blood money".

Mr Binay said under the Saudi Arabian legal system, accepting 'blood money' leads to the victim's family signing a waiver, signifying forgiveness.

Second case

But another Philippine man on death row in Saudi Arabia is expected to beheaded soon, unless more than $USD 800,000 is paid to the family of his Sudanese landlord, whom he murdered in 2009.

In November, Joselito Zapanta, won a four-month stay of execution to give the family more time to raise the amount, but it is still a long way short of the amount required.

Labour rights monitor Gary Martinez, from Migrante International (a migrant workers' rights group), said about 125 Filipinos are on death row abroad - most of them in China on drug convictions.

AFP