Malaysian judge orders review of caning sentence

A Malaysian Islamic appeals court judge has ordered a review of the caning sentence for a woman caught drinking alcohol.

Malaysian judge orders review of caning sentence

A Malaysian Islamic appeals court judge has ordered a review of the caning sentence for a woman caught drinking alcohol.

Women's Minister Shahrizat Jalil said on Tuesday that the Chief Appeals Judge for the Islamic courts in the eastern state of Pahang had deferred the caning pending a review of the sentence handed down by a lower court.

Religious authorities postponed the punishment for Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, a 32-year-old mother of two, who had been sentenced to be caned for drinking beer in a hotel in the occasion of Ramadan.

Ramadan, a period of fasting and contemplation, started on Saturday and is observed by 27-million Muslims in this Southeast Asian country.

"The judge has already started this process (to review the sentence), so we will wait for the outcome," said Shahrizat.

Instead of appealing the sentence, Kartika had asked that it be carried out in public.

The former nurse turned part-time model would have been the first woman in Malaysia to be caned by the authorities.

Malaysia, which has large Chinese and Indian communities, uses a dual-track legal system where sharia courts can try Muslims for religious and moral offences under Islamic law.

Alcohol is widely available in the country but is forbidden for the majority Muslim community, who make up just over half the population.

Muslims can be fined, jailed for up to three years or given six strokes of the cane for drinking alcohol, but prosecutions are extremely rare.


Agencies

Last Mod: 26 Ağustos 2009, 09:16
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