UnNews:Condemned sorcerer pleads for Saudi mercy
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2 April 2010
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia -- A Lebanese man facing a death sentence in Saudi Arabia for "sorcery" (possessing Tarot Cards) pleaded for mercy Thursday as Lebanon's justice minister asked the kingdom's rulers to halt his beheading today.
Family members have been told that Ali Hussain Sibat, who was caught with a pack of Tarot Cards, is scheduled to be put to death Friday
"All I ask is for the Saudi king and the Saudi government to show me mercy -- let me return to my country and family," Sibat said.
Sibat was arrested by Saudi Arabia's Mutaween or ‘religious police’ and charged with sorcery while visiting the country for an Islamic pilgrimage in May 2008, according to May El Khansa, his attorney in Lebanon.
Saudi authorities have not disclosed details of the charge for which Sibat has been condemned but CNN learned from anonymous sources the he was caught with a deck of common toy Tarot Cards in his suitcase.
"We can't understand how they could arrest him with simple Tarot Cards, then charge him with witchcraft and sentence him to death," Khansa said. "It doesn't make any sense."
Sibat said Wednesday that he had been told about his upcoming execution by a Saudi source with knowledge of the case and the proceedings, viz., the executioner, who quoted to him the following Sharia law he had broken:
|أي واحد الذي يلعب مع اللعب سيتم تنفيذها من قبل سيف|
Lebanon's government says it has no confirmation that his execution has been set. But Justice Minister Ibrahim Najjar said he has asked the Saudis to halt any scheduled execution and release Sibat, calling the punishment "a bit disproportionate."