April 23rd, 2010
09:54 AM ET

Lawyer hopeful accused sorcerer will avoid execution

A Lebanese man sentenced to die for "sorcery" in Saudi Arabia remains on death row but may not be executed - at least not yet, the man's lawyer said.
May El Khansa said that Lebanon's justice minister met with Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Lebanon this week in an effort to spare the life of her client, Ali Hussain Sibat.

The Saudi ambassador told Lebanon's justice minister, Ibrahim Najjar, that Sibat wouldn't be beheaded because a final verdict had not been reached, El Khansa said, citing an account of the conversation that she received from the Lebanese justice minister.

Religious police in Saudi Arabia charged Sibat with sorcery as he visited the country in 2008. A court convicted him and sentenced him to death.

Saudi authorities have not disclosed details of the charge for which Sibat has been condemned. They also have declined to comment about the case.

Sibat used to offer predictions and advice to callers on a Lebanese television network. Saudi Arabia's religious police charged him with sorcery while he was on an Islamic pilgrimage in the country in 2008.

His lawyer says her conversation with the Lebanese justice minister gave her reason to hope.

"I trust Miniser Najjar," El Khansa told CNN, "and I know he's doing so much to make sure Ali Sibat will be released.

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Filed under: Lebanon • Saudi Arabia • World
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. V

    Its people like this that have to go or else humanity will not survive

    April 23, 2010 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  2. Rorschach

    Is this the image Saudi Arabia wants to have with the world? It's doing a pretty good job of showing just how morally devoid, barbaric, and uncivilized it is.

    Yeah, except this is in real life.

    May 3, 2010 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |