BEIRUT — The KAFA (enough) Violence and Exploitation organization, announced Wednesday on its Facebook page that nine years after Roula Yacoub’s murder, Karam Afif Bazzi, her husband “has been arrested and sentenced to five years of hard labor.”
Here’s what we know:
• KAFA also said that the convicted man was fined LL300 million for attorney fees, and has been stripped of his civil rights.
• In 2014, the investigating judge, Alaa al-Khatib, dismissed the case in favor of Bazzi.
• In a voice note sent by KAFA to L’Orient Today, lawyer Leila Awada, the head of the domestic violence unit at the NGO, who has been following the case for nine years, explained why this verdict is only partially satisfactory to her. "Roula Yacoub's husband was prosecuted under Article 550 of the Penal Code, which concerns manslaughter and not murder," she said. “The defendant was therefore not charged with intentional homicide. In the case of such a crime, the sentence does not exceed five-to-seven years in prison. The toughest ruling is made when there are numerous aggravating circumstances. This is why this sentence is not surprising,” Awada added.
• Roula Yacoub, a mother of five girls, all minors at the time, was killed in Halba in Akkar, on July 7, 2013, by violent beatings from her husband. “Most importantly, this verdict could have been handed down many years ago. It is late, it is true, but we won our case… And given the very numerous interferences [in the judiciary] that marked this case, the fact that the accused had already been cleared by the criminal court and that many judges withdrew from the case, this sentence is satisfactory to us,” she continued.
• The murder of Roula Yacoub had accelerated the approval of a law on domestic violence by Parliament. Her mother, Leila Khoury, and KAFA, never stopped fighting for the case.