An appeal court in Yemen upholds death sentence awarded to Kerala nurse

Nimisha Priya, who was working as a nurse in Yemen, was convicted on charges of murdering a Yemeni national Talal Abdo Mahdi in 2017.

Published: 07th March 2022 03:22 PM  |   Last Updated: 07th March 2022 03:22 PM   |  A+A-

Wedding picture of Tomy Thomas and Nimisha Priya.

By Express News Service

KOCHI: Shattering the hopes of Tomy Thomas, a native of Idukki, who has been anxiously waiting for his wife Nimisha Priya's death sentence to be commuted, an appeal court in Yemen on Monday upheld the capital punishment awarded to her by a lower court in 2018.

Nimisha Priya, who was working as a nurse in Yemen, was convicted on charges of murdering a Yemeni national Talal Abdo Mahdi in 2017.

The appeal court, which deferred to announce the verdict on Nimisha's appeal two times, on Monday upheld the lower court verdict despite Nimisha's legal counsel pleading for mercy. 

Nimisha's plea for mercy had angered the victim's kin and friends who even held a protest in front of the court demanding death for her.

All the efforts made by Nimisha's family back home in Kerala to save her life by offering blood money had gone in vain. 

Nimisha has a seven-year-old daughter who stays with her father Tomy Thomas in Idukki.

Advocate K L Balachandran, who has been coordinating with the legal team in Yemen to commute the death sentence of Nimisha Priya, told “TNIE” that though the appeal court's verdict has ended all hopes for legal recourse, they still have a chance to approach Supreme Judicial Council with a mercy petition.

“We will approach the Supreme Judicial Council which has the authority to take a final call on a death sentence. A petition will be filed soon. We are optimistic. We are also trying to reach out to Talal's kin through social welfare organisations in Yemen. The victim's family has been firm on the death sentence for Nimisha. The option for mercy through blood money is not that easy. We are trying our best,” Balachandran said.

Nimisha, a native of Palakkad in Kerala was found guilty of murdering 24-year-old Talal Abdo Mahdi in 2017. Nimisha was accused of chopping his body into pieces and disposing of it in a water tank.

Nimisha has been pleading for commuting her death sentence on the ground that she was compelled to use force after she had to suffer physical torture at the hands of Talal.

Nimisha met Talal in 2014. At the time she sought his help to set up a clinic in Yemen. Talal was also an acquaintance of Nimisha's husband Tomy. At that time Tomy was working in Yemen. 

Tomy returned to Kerala with their child in 2014 after they found it difficult to manage finances. Both Tomy and their daughter have not seen Nimisha since February 2015. She was in Kerala on a vacation in January 2015 and returned to Yemen on February 9, 2015. Though Tomy had decided to join Nimisha in March 2015, he couldn’t get the visas processed because of the civil war in Yemen. Tomy had earlier told "TNIE" that Tala started harassing Nimisha after she started running the clinic with the help of another Yemeni national and the clinic started delivering good initial returns. Talal made a lot of false accusations against Nimisha who, in turn, lodged a couple of complaints against Mahdi with the Yemen police. 

Nimisha in July 2017 injected Talal with sedatives in order to retrieve her passport which was in his custody. As he died within a few minutes due to a drug overdose, Nimisha decided to conceal his body. So, with the help of another nurse Hanan, she chopped the body before disposing of it. 

While Nimisha was awarded capital punishment, Hanan was sentenced to life imprisonment.


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  • R S Chakravarti

    One can only hope she is spared. She doesn't deserve a death sentence.
    8 months ago reply
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