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Saudi murder trial to begin.

AN Egyptian man accused of stabbing to death a British father in Saudi Arabia has been discharged from hospital and is in police custody awaiting trial, it has emerged.

Muhammad Mukhlis Shamsuddin Zekry, 28, has already reportedly confessed to the crime and claimed he only acted in self-defence when the victim tried to sexually assault him.

The body of Stephen Havering, 46, was found in an apartment on Prince Naif Al Suad Street in Al Khobar on July 29.

The suspect himself suffered serious knife wounds to his hands during the alleged attack and had been recovering in a private hospital for more than two months.

Visit

Mr Havering was known to occasionally visit Saudi Arabia as an investment consultant for the Shoaibi Group, an oil company with several branches including one in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province.

A former colleague earlier said the Briton had been living in Bahrain, but had been frequently visiting Saudi Arabia for the last six months.

He also denied reports that Mr Havering, who was married to a German woman and has a son and a daughter, was gay.

Police revealed they are now finalising the paperwork regarding Mr Zekry's case and will submit it to the courts shortly.

"We must not forget that this is a murder case and so it might take a long time to reach a verdict," said a source.

He told the GDN that medical reports proved that Mr Havering's death was caused by seven stab wounds to his body, including his neck and chest.

The Egyptian consulate in Riyadh confirmed Mr Zekry was in custody in the Al Khobar police station pending an investigation into the murder.

But staff were unable to confirm whether he had confessed to his crime.

"We are now following the case with the Saudi authorities," said an official.

"We have sent a representative from the consulate to visit the convict and asked the Saudi authorities to speed up the procedure.

"The suspect's father has asked for a lawyer mandated by the consulate to defend him.

Law

"As the Saudi law states a suspect can defend himself or a Saudi lawyer mandated by the consulate can defend him. We are going to see if it's possible for the father to be the suspect's lawyer."

The official said the consulate was urging the Saudi authorities to request the British Embassy in Bahrain to appoint a lawyer for Mr Havering's family to help speed up the case.

A British Embassy spokesman said he was unable to give any more information about the case and referred all queries to the Saudi authorities.

He confirmed officials were aware of rumours that Mr Havering may have been attacked after having an affair with an Arab woman or that he had been sexually harassing Mr Zekry but declined to comment on them.

Copyright 2008 Gulf Daily News

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Oct 19, 2008
Words:484
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