Man charged with murder in niece's death

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AMMAN - Criminal Prosecutor Ali Abu Zeid on Monday charged a 30-year-old man with the premeditated murder of his niece in an Amman neighbourhood, official sources said.

The 19-year-old victim, who was not identified by officials, was reportedly shot eight times in the head and legs by her uncle at her home on Sunday, one source said.

The suspect left the house and was arrested the following day by police while at his home, the source told The Jordan Times.

Upon questioning, the uncle told the police that he killed his niece to “cleanse his family’s honour”, the source added.

In his initial testimony to police, the suspect said the victim went missing from her home almost two weeks prior to the incident.

The suspect claimed they found the victim with a man near the Airport Road and took her home, according to the source.

The suspect argued with the victim about her disappearance in front of her father and the woman challenged him, the source said, quoting the suspect.

The alleged killer told police he drew a gun and threatened the victim with it, said the source.

She told me, ‘go ahead and shoot me.’ So I became enraged and shot her, the source said, quoting the suspect's statements in front of Abu Zeid.

A second source told The Jordan Times that the victim would often go missing from her family's home and was reportedly working at night clubs and engaging in an illegitimate affair with a man.

The victim was admitted to the Family Protection Department when she was a teenager almost two years ago after being the victim of a sexual assault, the source said.

Pathologists Hani Jahshan and Rola Afaneh from the National Institute of Forensic Medicine performed an autopsy on the teenager and concluded that she had died of internal bleeding.

The pathologists also detected bruising, some of recent origin, on the victim's head and other parts of her body caused by a blunt object, the source added.

Abu Zeid ordered that the suspect be detained for 15 days at a correctional centre pending further investigations.

The victim became the 20th person reportedly murdered in a so-called honour crime in Jordan this year.