Ex-spouse burned alive: 20 years in prison for Frej Haj Messaoud

Last November, the 41-year-old pleaded guilty to attempted murder, avoiding a jury trial.

The defense had recommended a prison sentence of 7 to 15 years, while prosecutors thought life imprisonment was more appropriate.

Frej Haj Messaoud, who has been imprisoned since his arrest almost three years ago, can deduct the equivalent of 1,495 days from his sentence, as each day in custody counts as 1.5 days.

So he has fifteen years behind bars.


Before sentencing, Judge Guy Deblois on Tuesday returned to the events of August 9, 2019, when the defendant, who could not accept the separation from his wife, doused her with petrol before he died in the middle of the street on Saint-Sauveur -Quarter.

Charred clothing from the victim and burn marks were seen on Arago Street in the hours following the attempted murder in the summer of 2019. (Archives)

Photo: Radio Canada / Daniel Coulombe

Wiem Haj Amor was burned on more than 30% of her body. She had to endure a dozen operations and suffers from considerable physical and psychological damage.

Judge Deblois stated that the victim was no longer able to lead a normal life. She was unable to continue her studies or work.

Terrible pain

The crime committed is of indescribable violence […] He wants to cause her excruciating painemphasized the magistrate.

He added that Ms. Cupid suffers from nightmares, isolation, anger and helplessness, and lives with a sense of injustice.

Not to mention the psychological impact of the aggression on the two children the Tunisian couple had before separating in 2019 after seven years of marriage.

The son asks, “Why is the fire still on your body, mom?” related judge Deblois.

Wiem Haj Amor exits a courtroom at the Quebec City Courthouse.

Wiem Haj Amor (left) has sustained significant aftermath of the attack. (Archive)

Photo: Radio Canada

Ms. Cupid, who was present in the room, began to cry while listening to the story of the facts and shook the hand of a friend who had come to accompany her. The defendant held his hands in front of his face.

The judge portrayed Messaoud as a controlling man, overseeing his movements and spending.

Even while incarcerated, the ex-spouse continued to exercise control over his victim by preventing him from making certain decisions, the judge recalled, casually mentioning that the accused had waited more than two years before admitting his guilt.

Aggravating Factors

The judge claimed Messaoud’s feelings towards his victim seem little noticeable.

The aggravating factors in this case are numerous and the responsibility of the defendant is great, stressed Judge Deblois, who labeled domestic violence a scourge be denounced.

With information from Marie-Pier Mercier

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