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Wed 31 Mar 2010 10:00 AM

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Kuwaiti woman sentenced to death over wedding blaze

23-year-old found guilty of starting fire at husband's wedding to another woman.

Kuwaiti woman sentenced to death over wedding blaze
WEDDING BLAZE: Fifty seven people were killed and 80 injured in the fire. (Getty Images)

A Kuwaiti woman has been sentenced to death for deliberately starting a wedding tent blaze at her husband’s wedding to another woman that killed 57 people.

Nasra Yussef Mohammed al-Enezi, 23, was found guilty of "premeditated murder and starting a fire with the intent to kill," by the court of first instance.

She will face death by hanging if the verdict is upheld by the appeals court. If upheld she will become the first Kuwaiti woman to be executed in the Gulf state’s history, the news agency AFP reports.

Al-Enezi, who denied all charges, was not in court to hear the verdict.

Her lawyer, Zaid al-Khabbaz told the news agency: "The ruling was very harsh against a woman who is innocent. It is a political judgement rather than a criminal ruling because the court came under the influence of public opinion."

He said he might involve international human rights groups in the case in a bid to save al-Enezi’s life.

Around 80 people, mostly women and children, were injured in the blaze which gutted a wedding tent in the district of Al-Jahra, north of the capital, on August 15.

Kuwait Fire Service Department's (KFSD) final report confirmed arson was the cause but also highlighted a number of "gross errors" which contributed to the death toll.

The report said errors in the marquee's layout and supplies worsened the situation, like the lack of more than one entrance and the presence of large amounts of inflammable items.

Al-Enezi was initially believed to be the groom's ex-wife but defence lawyers said she was still his wife.

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