CNN reported The Saudi Justice Ministry Tuesday issued a "clarification" of a court's handling of a rape case and the increased punishment -- including 200 lashes --meted out to the victim. The case, which has sparked media scrutiny of the Saudi legal system, centers on a married woman. The 19-year-old and an unrelated man were abducted, and she was raped by a group of seven men more than a year ago, according to Abdulrahman al-Lahim, the attorney who represented her in court. The woman was originally sentenced in October 2006 to 90 lashes. But that sentence was more than doubled to 200 lashes and six months in prison by the Qatif General Court, because she spoke to the media about the case, a court source told Middle Eastern daily newspaper Arab News.
Is speaking to the media a crime? What punishment does the reporter get?Al-Lahim told CNN his law license was revoked last week by a judge because he spoke to the Saudi-controlled media about the case.
Good thing he did not speak to Western media. They might have cut off his head.In a statement issued to CNN, Saudi Ambassador to the United States, Adel al-Jubeir said, "This case is working its way through the legal process. I have no doubt that justice will prevail."
It certainly hasn't yet.The Justice Ministry acknowledged in its statement Tuesday that the attorney is no longer on the case, saying he was punished by a disciplinary committee for lawyers because he "exhibited disrespectful behavior toward the court, objected to the rule of law and showed ignorance concerning court instructions and regulations."
An intersting way to deal with lawyers that don't understand court instructions. Disbar the and more than double the punishment to their clients.It added that the permanent committee of the Supreme Judicial Council recommended an increased sentence for the woman after further evidence against her came to light when she appealed her original sentence.
What was the further evidence?The judges of that committee also increased the sentences for the perpetrators based on the level of their involvement in the crime. Their sentences -- which had been two to three years in prison -- were increased to two to nine years, according to al-Lahim. The ministry also said it welcomes constructive criticism and insisted that the parties' rights were preserved in the judicial process.
Just not their backs."We would like to state that the system has ensured them the right to object to the ruling and to request an appeal," the statement continued, "without resorting to sensationalism through the media that may not be fair or may not grant anyone any rights, and instead may negatively affect all the other parties involved in the case." The statement also described the progress of the woman's case and explained that it was heard by a panel of three judges, not one judge "as mentioned in some media reports."
So there are three bad judges in Saudi Arabia.It said the case was treated normally through regular court procedures, and that the woman, her male companion and the perpetrators of the crime all agreed in court to the sentences handed down.
How many more lashes would they have gotten if they had not agreed?