The Helsinki Court of Appeal has today upheld the district court's ruling in a case in which a man in his thirties murdered his wife and then tried to stage the act as suicide.
The homicide took place in Helsinki in September 2018 in the spouses' joint home.
In April 2019, the Helsinki District Court sentenced Mustafa Joma Al-Kenan to life imprisonment for murder and violation of the grave.
The man has constantly denied killing his wife and said the wife committed suicide by hanging.
He appealed the district court's judgment to the Court of Appeal and demanded that the charge be dismissed.
However, like the district court, the Court of Appeal found it proved in the case that 33-year-old Al-Kenani killed his spouse either by hand or by rope by strangulation and then tried to stage his spouse's death into a suicide by hanging.
- The Court of Appeal, like the district court, held that the act had been committed with serious consideration and that the crime as a whole had also been considered aggravated.
The Court of Appeal did not change the judgment of the district court, by which the defendant had been sentenced to life imprisonment for the crimes attributed to him, the Helsinki Court of Appeal states in a press release.
An appeal to the decision of the Court of Appeal can be appealed to the Supreme Court only if the Supreme Court grants leave to appeal.
Read more: A 32-year-old man said he found his wife committing suicide - a forensic doctor found a trace of a woman who revealed a shocking crime
The death penalty and the forensic report rose to a central role in the court.
They supported the prosecutor's view of the homicide.
It was undisputed that the woman had died from squeezing the neck area.
However, the man's account of what happened did not match the woman's injuries.
The man said he found his wife hanging on a hanging rope from the bedroom roof, feet off the floor.
The forensic doctor considered this impossible, among other things, because the groove left by the rope was only visible on one side of the victim's neck.
If the body had hung all its weight on the rope, the groove of the rope would have been around the whole neck.
The man's DNA was also not found on the rope and roof hooks, although the man said he lowered the body by removing the rope from the roof with his bare hands.
- Although the alternative transaction costs presented by the defense are possible per se, the said evidence does not support the defense's view of how things have happened.
The evidence presented in support of the prosecution must be considered sufficient in all respects for the purpose of indictment, the decision of the Court of Appeal states.
Other findings also spoke out against suicide.
The woman's dress was found inside the tightened knot of the rope, and fiber examinations revealed that fibers from the work gloves had been rubbed into the rope.
The fibers found on the rope were the same color and quality as the work gloves the man had bought two days before what had happened.
At that time, he had also bought a rope.
No male gloves were found, but the fibers found on the rope were compared to the fibers of similar gloves purchased from the same store.
The man said he bought a rope for a clothesline and gloves for car maintenance.
In addition, prior to the act, he had, among other things, taken two quick loans and withdrawn funds from bank accounts.
The Court of Appeal held that the purchase of a rope and gloves, the reservation of cash for a plane ticket, the disappearance of a crime by staging it into suicide, and the man's conduct after the incident show that the murder was committed with due consideration.
According to the man's loved ones, the man took care of his wife and was an exemplary spouse, but the wife's friends disagreed.
According to his wife’s friends, the man was possessive, jealous, and violent.
They said they saw bruises on the woman's body.
The wife had told her husband that they had caused them.
According to the witness, the wife had considered divorce from her husband.
This was considered as a possible motive for the murder, but the district court found in its judgment that the motive for the act ultimately remained unclear.