KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - It is not always usual for a person who finds a chance to escape justice to do the opposite and surrender to the authorities.
But such things might happen, especially when the accused is brave enough and carefree.
An example of this had occurred in the Sudan a long time ago, during the British colonial rule. A man was sentenced to death by a court of law in Western Sudan and was sent to the gallows in Khartoum. But as he was transported to his fate a sad occurrence took place that made him to bravely turn himself to the authorities for execution.
The story, as related to Sudanow by Attorney Hazim Awadalkareem, had captured the attention of the British media that reported it at length, with leading British writers commenting on its details and its moral significance. This media hype had also attracted the attention of the British Court and King at the time.
It so happened that a man in Kordofan District of Midwestern Sudan was convicted to death by hanging for killing another man. The court ruled that the convict be sent for execution in the major prison in Khartoum.
The man was taken on board a police car under the tight security of two heavily armed policemen, in addition to the car driver.
In midway the car had an accident in which the driver and one guard lost their lives. The other guard sustained serious injuries. But the convict got out of the car unscathed.
Instead of seeking a runaway, the valiant convict decided to do whatever he could to save the wounded guard. He stood in the middle of the road waving for passing vehicles to stop for help. An approaching lorry saw what was going on and drew to a halt. The convict carried the two dead men, together with their weapons into the lorry, He also carefully took the wounded guard and eased him into the lorry. He requested the lorry driver to stop by at the nearest hospital, a request which the driver complied to.
Then he asked the driver to proceed to Khartoum where he surrendered himself and the guards’ weapons to the prison superintendent, who received the incident with utmost surprise. The superintendent immediately reported the case to the authorities and heaped lots of praise on the man who had a real chance to escape death but refused to take it.
The British General Governor of Sudan and the British Chief Justice were taken by extreme surprise at what the convict had done and were at a loss what to do about him. The law was plain and clear in such a case: The man had to be hanged.
But out of appreciation for what the convict had done and out of sympathy with him, the Governor General decided to give it another thought. He formed a legal panel to seek a legal way out for the convict. Headed by the Chief Justice, the panel ruled a seven year prison term, in recognition of the law-abiding man’s noble behavior. After three years he was discharged from prison ‘for good conduct.’
After the man was set free the British Governor-General appointed him member of his personal guard, the State Hose Guard.
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