Victims can pardon criminals

National 2 minutes, 6 seconds


VICTIMS of bodily crimes under Syariah Law can choose to forgive their perpetrators and spare them from receiving qisas (retaliation or similar penalty) punishment.

During a briefing for grassroots leaders at the Brunei-Muara district department, a panel speaker at a Syariah Penal Code briefing said victims and their family members can pardon those who have wronged them, and instead opt for other forms of punishment.

Panel speaker Hardiyatie Kahar from the Islamic Judicial Unit, was speaking on the topic of robbery which includes the intent of causing harm and also death. In line with this, she explained the different punishments that can be executed, should victims choose to forgive their wrongdoers.

“The punishment for robbery is much higher (than theft) especially when the robbery involves death, therefore the punishment for the robber is death as well.”

She explained this was the ‘qisas’ punishment, where one is punished for their crime by inflicting onto them the harm they have caused others, which includes inflicting the same physical harm onto perpetrators.

“However, there is the option that allows victims to forgive or pardon their perpetrators, excusing them from receiving similar faiths as they have had to experience. The perpetrator would then have to pay arsy, which is compensation,” said Hardiyatie.

Arsy refers to a specified amount determined by Hukum Syarai (muqaddar) or specified amount not determined by Hukum Syara’ (ghairu muqaddar) for compensation payable to the victim.

If the perpetrator has committed intentional murder, the remaining family members of the victim can claim ‘diyat’ in the instance they choose to pardon the murderer.

“Once found guilty with sufficient evidence, the punishment will be qisas, however, the death sentence can be contested.

The next of kin to the victim can choose to pardon the criminal.

If there is forgiveness, the death sentence will not be carried out. Instead, the family of the deceased can claim diyat that has been set,” added the speaker. The value of diyat is 4250 grams of gold according to its value at the time the offence has been committed. “At the same time, a discussion can be held, in other words, a compromise between the victim and the perpetrator. This is known as badal – al – sulh,” said the officer from the Islamic Judicial Unit, where the badal-al-sulh would be compensation paid or given by the perpetrator to a wali-ad-dam either in cash or in the form of movable or immovable property. She added, “Individuals are encouraged to practice ‘ihsan’ or righteousness and be forgiving to others.”

The Brunei Times