Adultery case: Sri Lankan woman to serve jail term

Updated 24 December 2015

Adultery case: Sri Lankan woman to serve jail term

COLOMBO: A Saudi court has commuted the death sentence passed on a Sri Lankan maid convicted of adultery, the government in Colombo said.
“We have succeeded in getting the death sentence overturned. Our concern was to make sure that the original sentence was not carried out,” said Harsha de Silva, deputy foreign minister.
“The government of Sri Lanka wishes to acknowledge and appreciate the good offices of the Saudi authorities.
“The sympathy, understanding and the concern expressed, and assistance extended by many other parties is also noted and deeply appreciated.”
De Silva said the woman would now serve a “short jail sentence” but details on the exact amount of time that she would have to remain behind bars were not yet clear.
The 45-year-old married mother of two, who has not been named, was convicted of adultery in August after her arrest in April last year.
The following is a statement posted on the website of the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry.
The appeal against the verdict of the Sri Lankan domestic worker arrested on the charges of adultery and sentenced to death by the Al-Dwadmi Court in Saudi Arabia was taken up Dec. 22.
The government of Sri Lanka is happy to announce that the appeal for clemency on the sentence was successful and the Sri Lankan national will now have to serve a reduced sentence and serve a term in prison.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs together with the Ministry of Foreign Employment and the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment undertook the responsibility to safeguard the Sri Lankan national and through the Sri Lanka Mission in Saudi Arabia, extended every assistance to provide legal counsel and consular assistance in order to assist the appeal process.
The government of Sri Lanka wishes to acknowledge and appreciate the good offices of Saudi authorities.
The sympathy, the understanding and the concern expressed, and assistance extended by many other parties is also noted and deeply appreciated.


Pakistan avoids terror financing blacklist for now

Updated 32 min 42 sec ago

Pakistan avoids terror financing blacklist for now

  • Pakistan’s government hailed the FATF’s decision, which offers a reprieve to Prime Minister Imran Khan as he works to shore up his country’s faltering economy and attract foreign investment and loans
  • The agency’s assessment expresses “serious concerns with the overall lack of progress by Pakistan” to stop terrorism financing

PARIS: An international monitoring agency has given Pakistan four months to prove it is fighting terrorism financing and money laundering — or it could be put on a damaging global blacklist.
The Financial Action Task Force also threatened Iran, which is already blacklisted, with even tougher restrictions on its international financial activity.
Pakistan’s government on Friday hailed the FATF’s decision, which offers a reprieve to Prime Minister Imran Khan as he works to shore up his country’s faltering economy and attract foreign investment and loans.
“Thank God, we have been successful,” Pakistan’s foreign minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, told The Associated Press.
But the agency’s assessment remained grim, expressing “serious concerns with the overall lack of progress by Pakistan” to stop terrorism financing.
In a statement after meetings this week at its Paris headquarters, the FATF said Pakistan has addressed only five of 27 measures required to avoid being blacklisted.
If Pakistan doesn’t act by February, FATF president Xiangmin Lui said the agency could put the country on its blacklist, which currently includes only Iran and North Korea.
Experts say the move means every international financial transaction with Pakistan will be closely scrutinized and doing business in Pakistan will become costly and cumbersome. International agencies could place restrictions on lending money to Pakistan, including key creditors such as the International Monetary Fund, the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank.
“Pakistan has not done enough,” Xiangmin told a news conference.
Pakistan should do more to track money transfers and investigate and prosecute terrorism financiers, among other steps, the FATF said.
Qureshi insisted that Pakistan has “taken maximum steps against terror financing.”
“We will continue to take all the required steps, and all conspiracies against us have failed,” he told The AP.
Meanwhile, the watchdog expressed “disappointment” that Iran isn’t taking the necessary steps to be removed from the blacklist, and said it’s asking all member countries to tighten scrutiny of any financial transactions involving Iran.
Virtual currencies such as bitcoin and Facebook’s Libra are also prompting concern from the FATF, which warned of “new risks” from such products. It said they’re being “closely monitored” to ensure they’re not used to finance terrorism or launder money.