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North America - United States - Islam

Faleh Hassan Almaleki, Muslim man accused of murdering daughter in 'honor killing,' found guilty
Philip Caulfield and Michael Sheridan ("New York Daily News," February 23, 2011)

Phoenix, USA - An Iraqi man in Arizona accused of killing his daughter because she had become too westernized was convicted on Tuesday of second-degree murder.

Faleh Hassan Almaleki was found guilty of running over his daughter, Noor Faleh Almaleki, with his SUV in October 2009.

Prosecutors claimed the 50-year-old Muslim man committed an "honor killing" because his daughter had dishonored him by living with her boyfriend and his mother.

Almaleki was also found guilty of aggravated assault for seriously injuring Amal Edan Khalaf, 43, the mother of his daughter's boyfriend.

He was acquitted of first-degree murder and first-degree attempted-murder charges.

Noor Almaleki, 20, died at a hospital on Nov. 2 after fighting for her life for nearly two weeks.

She was run down by a Jeep Cherokee in a parking lot in suburban Phoenix while walking with Khalaf on Oct. 20.

During the trial, a county medical examiner said that the woman did not die from her injuries, but from complications of a urinary tract infection that entered her blood steam and eventually reached her heart.

However, the examiner said the injuries from the accident caused the infection, and he testified that she would not have died if she had not been hit by the car.

Graphic autopsy photos shown during the trial revealed bruises on her face and legs and bleeding and bruising to her brain.

The cause of death was officially listed as complications from multiple blunt-force injuries, according to KPHO News.

Almaleki fled to Mexico after the incident and was busted in Mexico City trying to board a plane to Britain.

He was shipped back to Arizona on Oct. 29 and arrested at the airport.

Defense lawyers had argued that Almaleki was trying to spit on the two women and accidentally ran them over.

Almaleki did not testify at trial, but had told police that he loved his daughter and didn't mean to run her over.

"I run away because I've been waiting for my daughter, because if something happen to her, I kill myself," he said in a tape played at the trial, according to ABC.

He will be sentenced on Wednesday and faces 17 to 45 years in prison.

The case shone a light on an ancient practice of men targeting women for acts they consider immoral.

Although largely practiced in Muslim countries, "honor killings" have been reported in Europe and South America, as well as in the United States.

Earlier this month, a man near Buffalo, Muzzammil Hassan, was convicted of beheading his wife at the offices of the television station they ran six days after she filed for divorce.

The gruesome slaying was called an honor killing by some domestic-abuse advocates.