For homicide case

Duhok criminal court issues rare death penalty

DUHOK – The Criminal Court in Duhok issued a death sentence on Sunday, marking the second such sentence in 2024.

The recent verdict was against two individuals involved in a familial homicide in Duhok’s Bardarash district in October 2023. The convicted murderer, along with the victim’s wife, was found guilty of killing his brother. According to an informed source from the Duhok Criminal Court, the latest verdict was given following the defendants’ admission of their premeditated crime.

Legal advisor Omid Mahmoud noted that executions were halted in 2003, resuming in 2006. Up until 2023, the courts in the Kurdistan Region had issued 413 death sentences for severe crimes.

However, Mahmoud added that “The execution of death penalties requires a decree by the President of the Kurdistan Region, and traditionally, such orders are signed only under extreme conditions.”  The last execution occurred in 2015.

Experts indicate that death sentences in Kurdistan are often converted to life imprisonment, not subject to termination by general amnesty. Even if amnesty is declared, those sentenced to death would see their sentences reduced to life imprisonment.

The Bardarash murder case is expected to go to the Court of Appeals, likely to be upheld due to conclusive evidence and confessions presented.