A defense attorney in New York City used a novel defense to explain why her client allegedly murdered his 66-year-old wife. Noor Hussein, a 75-year-old Pakistani immigrant, was apparently so enraged when his wife, Nazar Hussein, prepared lentils for supper instead of his favorite meal of goat meat that he beat her to death in their Brooklyn apartment. Counsel Julie Clark readily admitted in court on May 21 that the septuagenarian Muslim beat his hapless wife to death, but explained it away by claiming that this is customary in his home country. “He comes from a culture where he thinks this is appropriate conduct, where he can hit his wife,” Clark said a statement to the Brooklyn Supreme Court. “He culturally believed he had the right to hit his wife and discipline his wife.”
According to prosecutors, “Defendant asked [his wife] to cook goat and [his wife] said she made something else.” In court papers filed by the prosecution, it was stated that “The conversation got louder and [his wife] disrespected defendant by cursing at defendant and saying motherf–ker and that the defendant took a wooden stick and hit her with it on her arm and mouth.” Speaking before the court, Assistant District Attorney Sabeeha Madni, said of Hussein: “His intentions were to kill his wife,” adding, “This was not a man who was trying to discipline his wife.” In opening statements, prosecutors said that wife Nazar had been left a “bloody mess.”
“Defendant asked [his wife] to cook goat and [his wife] said she made something else,” court papers declared.
Prosecutor Madni said the grizzled Hussein “brutally attacked his wife as she lay in her bed” and left deep wounds on her upper body and head, causing a brain hemorrhage. Hussein beat his wife with a stick that had been used normally to stir laundry in a washtub. The Pakistani cleaned up his wife’s blood that had been spattered on their bedroom wall and then telephoned his son for help. According to prosecutors, he told his son “I killed her. Hurry up and come over.”
Prosecutors in the case say that they have witnesses who will testify that that Hussein had meted out beatings for his wife in the past. Said prosecutor Madni, “They have told us about years of abuse they witnessed.”The trial continues on May 22.
Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. He is also a freelance translator.