Execution of TV Host in Saudi Arabia May Be Imminent

Friday, April 02, 2010
Ali Hussain Sibat (photo: May el-Khansa)

Ali Hussain Sibat, a Lebanese television host who occasionally offered predictions on his show, was scheduled to be executed in Saudi Arabia on April 2 for acts of “sorcery,” But his lawyer, May el-Khansa, has been told by a Lebanese government official that the execution has been temporarily postponed.

Sibat, the father of five, did not commit his alleged crimes in the Saudi kingdom, but back home in Lebanon. That was good enough for religious police to arrest him while he visited Saudi Arabia last spring to make his pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina. Officials convinced Sibat to confess to talking to spirits—on the promise that he would be freed—and then used his confession to convict him in court last month. An appeal resulted in his case being sent back to his original trial court which upheld its original verdict.
-Noel Brinkerhoff


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