On Tuesday, a higher court in Yemen ratified Keralite nurse Nimisha Priya's death sentence for allegedly murdering Yemen citizen Talal Abdu Mahadi, chopping his body into pieces and dumping them in a water tank in 2017. A trial court had awarded her death sentence in 2018.
Chronicle of a sensational murder
Nimisha hails from Kerala's Palakkad district. She is a trained nurse and had worked in private hospitals in Yemen for a few years.
In 2014, she joined hands with Mahadi to set up her own clinic in Yemen's capital city Sana'a. She sought Mahadi's support because, under Yemen law, only nationals are allowed to set up clinics and business firms.
Marriage to Mahadi
Nimisha got the licence for setting up the clinic after she produced a certificate showing her marriage to Mahadi.
Nimisha was legally married in Kerala and is mother to a five-year-old child. Mahadi too was married to a Yemen national and was father to a child.
After the certificate was registered, Mahadi forced Nimisha into marriage. Since then, she lived in his house along with his first wife.
Torture & abuses
Soon, Nimisha's life turned into a hell. Mahadi seized her passport. This was done to ensure that she would not leave Yemen. He tortured her under the influence of drugs. He threatened her at gunpoint several times. He took all the money from the clinic and her ornaments.
Unable to cope with the torture, Nimisha complained to the police. They arrested Mahadi was put him behind bars. On his return from jail, the severity of the torture increased manifold.
Plotting the murder
Nimisha soon realised the Mahadi would not allow her to live a normal life. Hence she started plotting his murder.
She found an able ally in Hanan, a Yemeni nurse who worked with her.
The duo injected Mahadi with an overdose of anaesthetic. Mahadi died in a few hours. But the duo could not find a place to bury him. So they chopped him into pieces, put them in a polythene bag and dumped in the water tank of her apartment.
Running from Sana'a & arrest
After the murder, Nimisha ran away from Sana'a. She found a job at a hospital some 200km away from the capital.
A few days later, residents complained of stench from the water tank near her old clinic. When they opened it up, they saw Mahadi's chopped body.
Police soon launched a massive hunt to trace Nimisha. They published her photographs in major newspapers. Soon she was arrested from the hospital, where she had just started a new job.
A year after her arrest, in 2018, a lower court in Yemen sentenced her to death. Her accomplice Hanan was given a life sentence. This verdict was ratified by the higher court on Tuesday.
Nimisha can now file an appeal to the Supreme Judicial Council, headed by Yemen's President, to review the verdict. This should be done within 15 days.
Meanwhile, Mahadi's family has reportedly agreed to pardon Nimisha for Rs 70 lakh blood money. Advocate K L Balachandran, who has been providing legal aid to Nimisha, said efforts are on to raise Rs 70 lakh.