SAUDI ARABIA: SRI LANKAN MAID SPARED IN ADULTERY CASE
December 23, 2015: The life of a Sri Lankan maid due to be stoned to death in Saudi Arabia for adultery has been spared, Sri Lanka's foreign ministry says.
She will instead be imprisoned, Sri Lankan Deputy Foreign Minister Dr Harsha de Silva announced.
An appeal by Sri Lanka was considered by Saudi Arabia and the execution order was withdrawn, he said.
The woman was convicted in August, along with an unmarried Sri Lankan man.
She was sentenced to death by stoning, while the man was sentenced to 100 lashes.
Saudi Arabia agreed to reopen the case of the woman - a 45-year-old mother of two - earlier this month.
There was no immediate comment in Saudi state media on the news the woman had been spared.
Saudi Arabia's initial decision to stone the woman was condemned in Sri Lanka.
Government official Ranjan Ramanayake said the Sri Lankan government had been informed about the woman's case only after she had been convicted - despite the fact she had been arrested in April 2014.
"Islamic Sharia law says four respected Muslims need to be eyewitnesses for this type of case, but this has not been possible in this case," he said.
"Unfortunately, not knowing the law, she has confessed under pressure without any legal help." (Sources: bbc.com, 23/12/2015)