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Sunday 17 December 2017

Saudi court reopens case of woman sentenced to death by stoning

The 45-year-old married woman was sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia in August
The 45-year-old married woman was sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia in August

A Saudi Arabian court has decided to reopen the case of a Sri Lankan woman who was sentenced to death by stoning for adultery, according to Sri Lanka's government .

The 45-year-old married woman, who was working as a maid in Saudi Arabia, was sentenced to death in August. The unmarried Sri Lankan man convicted alongside her was sentenced to 100 lashes.

Sri Lankan deputy foreign minister Harsha de Silva told his parliament that an appeals court in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia's capital, has decided to hear the case again following pleas by Sri Lanka's foreign ministry.

Mr de Silva said: "We see this as a victory," adding that the ministry will bear all the legal expenses of reopening the case and "make the fullest efforts in order to get this sentence changed".

The Sri Lankan foreign ministry has not revealed the identities of the two people sentenced.

Foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera met an official from the Saudi embassy in Colombo last week and expressed Sri Lanka's concerns about the case.

Mr Samaraweera has also asked to speak to Saudi Arabia's foreign minister to seek clemency for the woman.

The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka, an umbrella organisation of Sri Lanka's minority Muslims, said it wrote to the Saudi king last week to ask him to pardon the woman and the man, noting their inferior education and poor economic situation.

Press Association

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