A recent case in which a judge claimed stealing 100 million while under a spell stirred controversy among lawyers and jurists over the possibility of accepting magic as a legal defense argument and the means to verify the involvement of a jinni in a crime.
A heated debate over committing crimes while under magical influence ensued during the proceedings of a corruption trial that involved several employees in the Medina Court including one of the judges.
A statement by a man who claimed to have performed a roqia (Islamic exorcism) on the suspected judge ignited the controversy. The ‘exorcist’ told the Saudi newspaper Okaz that the judge was possessed by a jinni and was under his influence while taking bribes to cover up for illegal possession of land and real estate.
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For legal advisor Saleh al-Khedr, being possessed by a jinni or an evil spirit does not absolve the culprit of blame....
Meanwhile, several jurists argue that it is possible that an evil spirits makes people unable to control their actions, yet it is hard to prove.
Dr. Ibrahim al-Balawi, a lawyer, stated that the judge should consider this possibility if the culprit admitted to being under a spell while committing the crime.
“However, it is very hard to prove that and the court only acknowledges clear and tangible evidence,” he told AlArabiya.net. “But the judge should not ignore it and further investigations have to be carried out.”
Balawi added that there are specialists who are capable of detecting if a person is possessed and they can be consulted in these cases to verify the defendant’s allegations.
Lawyer Badr al-Basees agreed with Balawi and stressed that magic and its effect on people are mentioned in the Quran.
“There is no doubt that magic exists,” he told AlArabiya.net. “It is only proving it that is a challenge.”
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