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Indian sentenced to death in S Arabia

Three South Asians have been given death term in Saudi Arabia for the murder of an elderly woman in Jeddah.

india Updated: Jan 28, 2008 14:46 IST

Three South Asians including an Indian were sentenced to death by a court in Saudi Arabia for the murder of an elderly woman in Jeddah.

The three -- Haleema Nissa Cader, a Sri Lankan, Naushad, her Indian husband from Tamil Nadu, and KMS Bandaranaike, also a Sri Lankan -- were arrested in November 2005 in connection with the armed burglary of the home of a Saudi woman and her murder, Arab News said in a report on Monday.

They have seven days to appeal the verdict.

Five other Sri Lankans, including two women, were sentenced to five years in jail and will also receive 500 lashes for their role in the crime.

An oral verdict was delivered in June last year, and a 15-page written verdict was given on January 20, the report said, adding that Jeddah High Court Judge Faisal Al-Sheikh confirmed the verdict yesterday.

The son of the victim is not happy with the judgment and has called for the other five convicts to be given death sentences.

The verdict has been slammed by Amnesty International, which has accused authorities of imposing the death sentences without proper judicial procedure.

"The accused were not given legal assistance at any time, even during trial, and are believed to have confessed under duress," Amnesty said in a statement.

On February 19, 2007, four Sri Lankan migrant workers accused of armed robbery were beheaded in the Kingdom.