Dubai: Two Indians got a reprieve, after paying blood money to relatives of their alleged murder victim, just two days before they were to be executed in Kuwait.
Suresh Shanmugasundaram and Kalidas Chellaiyan, both residents of Chennai, had been arrested in 2008 for the murder of a Sri Lankan woman.
The Indian Embassy initially provided legal assistance by engaging a local lawyer to defend them in court.
Both were convicted by the Court of First Instance on March 3, 2009, and sentenced to death. Their appeal against the verdict in the Court of Appeal which was also turned down on April 24, 2009. Sources said that in spite of the relatives of both Indians reaching an agreement to pay blood money, it was reliably learnt on April 14 that they were to be executed on April 18.
"It was at this stage the Indian Mission in Kuwait redoubled its efforts and sought the intervention of the Minister of Justice, the Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs
and the Minister of Amiri Diwan. These strenuous efforts seem to have resulted in suspension of the execution sentence on June 16, just 48 hours prior to the execution," sources said.
The Indian mission is now talking to the local authorities for the commuting of their sentence to a lower degree.
Both the Indian nationals are currently lodged at the central prison in Kuwait.