Riyadh: An official has issued the following statement: “The Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia regrets statements issued by the Secretary General of the United Nations, the Vice-President of the European Commission, the High Representative of the European Union’s Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and a number of foreign agencies and organizations, regarding the implementation of the court ruling against a Sri Lankan domestic worker, who premeditatedly strangled to death a four-month child one week after her arrival in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. As these statements draw on false information about the case and are issued without full knowledge of the circumstances of the case itself, the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia wishes to clarify the following:
First: Allegations that the offender is a minor are incorrect. Such allegations are clearly and unequivocally refuted by her age. Her official passport shows that she was 21 years old at the time of committing the crime. As it is universally recognized, the passport is an official document issued by her Government. Moreover, the legal regulations of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia do not allow the recruitment of minors.
Second: After the crime was legally proved, the worker was referred to court and was prosecuted. She was also given all rights to have a legal defense under the supervision of her country’s Embassy. Moreover, the case circumstances and procedures taken since the start of the case were reported to the officials of her country, who visited the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, including the Attorney General of Sri Lanka.
Third: After sentencing, the State for its part made vigorous efforts at the highest levels to persuade the child’s parents to pardon the domestic worker or accept blood money and waive their personal right. Unfortunately, these efforts failed as the parents insisted on the implementation of the ruling. Again, the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was appreciatively noted by the Government of Sri Lanka for the efforts exerted to obtain a pardon for the domestic worker.
In clarifying such issues of this case, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia emphasizes at the same time its respect for the sovereignty of the judiciary and all laws and regulations as well as its protection of the rights of all citizens and expatriates on its soil. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia categorically rejects any interference in its affairs or in the provisions of its judiciary under any justifications.”