|www.corpun.com : Archive : 1999 : SA Judicial Dec 1999|
Corpun file 8536 at www.corpun.com
The Nation, Bangkok, Thailand, 18 December 1999
Thai students face caning in Saudi Arabia
TWO Thai students of religion will be caned in Saudi Arabia after a court there found them guilty of theft, the Foreign Ministry announced yesterday.
The court in Jeddah sentenced them on Wednesday. The two students, whose names were withheld, will receive 70 strokes each and spend five months in prison. The caning will be carried out in stages over the jail term.
The Thai consulate in Jeddah has formally requested that the punishment be reduced or waived, the ministry said.
Normally in Saudi Arabia both hands are chopped off for theft. The two students received a light sentence because it was their first offence.
The court found them guilty based on a video from a closed-circuit television that showed them trying to open a suitcase during a trip to Jeddah. The Thai students, studying religion in Egypt, denied the charge. They thought the suitcase belonged to a friend, they said.
The speedy trial was over before one of the witnesses had a chance to testify. The court wanted the students to return to their study of religion as soon as possible. The two have been detained since Aug 6.
Corpun file 4819 at www.corpun.com
Sunday Times, Johannesburg, South Africa, 19 December 1999
Compiled by Caspar Greeff
WHIPPED: Filipino contract worker Faustino Salazar, who was sentenced to four months' jail and 75 lashes by Saudi Arabian authorities after they found two liquor-flavoured chocolates in his luggage. Alcohol in any form is banned in the kingdom.
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