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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 1 April, 2003, 10:08 GMT 11:08 UK
Husband pleaded for execution
Woodhill Prison
Adel El Hage died in his cell at Woodhill Prison
A devout Muslim killed himself after confessing to his wife's murder and pleading to be sent to Saudi Arabia for execution, it has emerged.

It has been revealed the trial judge at St Albans Crown Court told Adel El Hage, of Elstree, Hertfordshire, he could only apply English law to his case.

Thirteen days later El Hage was found electrocuted in his cell at Woodhill Prison, Milton Keynes.

Details of the case can be reported following a decision of Judge Findlay Baker QC lifted a press ban.

El Hage, who was 30 on the day he died, had called the police early on 22 February to his home in Beethoven Road.

His wife, 22-year-old Salma Abusedra, was dead with knife wounds to the chest.

Libyan-born El Hage, who was unemployed, confessed to the killing when he made a preliminary appearance at St Albans Crown Court on 4 March.

I am a Muslim and I would like to die as a Muslim - this is what Islam is all about
Adel El Hage

Speaking through an Arabic interpreter, he said he was a Muslim who believed in Islam.

"I hope Your Honour will understand what I want to say very clearly. I am going to shortcut all of these proceedings.

"The Koran says if one kills someone else he should be executed.

"I am a Muslim and I would like to die as a Muslim. This is what Islam is all about.

"I confess in front of you that I did kill my wife and I am confessing now because I want to go back to God and I would like the law of the Koran to be applied to me."

He said he knew there were no executions in the UK, so he wanted to be sent to somewhere like Saudi Arabia where Koranic law applied.

He said if his request was refused, he would not eat or drink.

"I am going to resist until I die and I don't think I am going to wait."

El Hage assured the judge he was well, fit and in a very good state of mind.

Governor investigating

Remanding El Hage in custody, Judge Baker said he could not dispense any law other than that of this country.

Prison staff found El Hage dead 13 days later.

He had electrocuted himself using a socket in his cell.

A senior governor from another prison will be investigating the death at Woodhill.

An inquest into El Hage's death has been opened and adjourned by the North Bucks coroner Rodney Corner.

Murder charge husband dies in cell
28 Mar 03  |  England
'Too few' staff at prison
19 Feb 03  |  England

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