Saudi Court to Review Rape Victim Sentence

Prince about-faces, claims case is being used against country
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 28, 2007 11:46 AM CST
Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal, listens to a question from the media during a news conference in end of the third OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) Summit,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Courts will take another look at the sentence of a gang-rape victim, Saudi Arabia's foreign minister said yesterday, following an international outcry when the 19-year-old was handed a six-month prison term and 200 lashes. “What is outraging about this case is that it is being used against the Saudi government and people,” said Prince Saud al-Faisal.

Religious courts have free reign in sentencing in Saudi Arabia, the AP reports, and lawyers are only sometimes present. The review marks a reversal of a government statement Saturday that said the woman caused the 2006 crime by meeting an unrelated male in his car. She was initially given 90 lashes for that crime, but the sentence was doubled after she spoke out during appeal.