RIYADH – A court has acquitted a Saudi who had been jailed for three years after being found guilty of torturing her Indonesian maid, a local newspaper said on Sunday.
“A court in Medina acquitted on Saturday a Saudi woman who was sentenced in January to three years in prison for severely torturing her Indonesian housemaid,” media reported .
In January, Indonesia said it was appealing against the three-year jail term given to the woman for stabbing, beating and burning her maid, and slammed the sentence as being “too light.”
But on Saturday, the judge “said there was no evidence that the 53-year-old woman tortured her maid, Sumiati Binti Salan Mustapa, 23, while her lawyer said he would seek damages for his client,” said the English-language daily.
During a hearing in January, Mustapa showed the judge her injuries, an Indonesian consular official in Jeddah Diddi Wahyudi told media.
“The court suspected the truth of the accusations made by the maid because she refused to take her oath in court,” the Saudi woman’s lawyer, Ahmad Al-Rashid, told media.
Mustapa’s lawyer said he would appeal the verdict as “there was convincing evidence to prove that the maid is telling the truth,” reported the Saudi media.
The case outraged rights groups and labour activists as another example of the paucity of protection for millions of mostly Asian domestic workers, especially in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states.
Saudi Arabia’s labour ministry said it was sorry about the case, which it called an isolated incident.