On death row for sorcery, maid spared by king



RIYADH: Ghazanfar Ali Khan

Published — Friday 14 February 2014

Last update 15 February 2014 12:46 pm

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An Indonesian housemaid, on death row for sorcery, has been pardoned by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah.
“Ati Bt Abeh Inan, who has been languishing in Al-Ahsa jail for casting a magic spell on her employer and his family, has been released and sent back to Indonesia,” said Ahrul Tsani Fathurrahman, a spokesman for the Indonesian Embassy, on Wednesday.
“The embassy expresses its gratitude to King Abdullah and to authorities in Saudi Arabia for their cooperation in releasing Ati,” said Fathurrahman.
Ati hails from an impoverished region of Sukabumi in West Java.
The maid, who was reunited with her family this week in Indonesia, had been working for a Saudi family in Al-Ahsa since 2003.
“The case of Ati could be classified as a death-row case … as you know, practicing or using black magic, or what we call witchcraft, could lead to a death sentence in the Kingdom,” said Fathurrahman.
Her case was complex one because “her employer himself accused her of using black magic and allegedly forced her to admit the allegation,” he said.
She was then sentenced by Al-Ahsa General Court in 2003 by her admission of the allegation.
The spokesman was also asked about progress made in the case of another Indonesian housemaid due to be executed this month.
He said “Satinah Binti Jumadi Ahmad, a 40-year-old Indonesian female worker, has received clemency from her employer’s heirs upon condition that Satinah and her family pay SR7 million in blood money.”
Satinah may be executed this month if her family or the Jakarta government fails to raise the money.
Satinah is facing death for murdering her employer and fleeing with SR37,500 cash in 2007.
Fathurrahman said: “Satinah’s family has so far been able to collect SR4 million, including SR3 million in contributions by the Indonesian government.”
This also includes about SR500,000 donated by Indonesians and another SR500,000 from an unnamed Saudi donor.
“Satinah’s family, especially her only daughter, 20-year-old Nur Afriani, sincerely hopes that the victim’s heirs will accept SR4 million in blood money,” said Fathurrahman.
Nur was 11 when her mother left her in Indonesia.
Arab News asked the embassy about the date of execution if the demanded amount is not raised.
It suggested the Qassim governorate be contacted for details.

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