JEDDAH – Jeddah’s General Court heard on Saturday the statements of two Yemenis held over the death of 15-year-old Algerian girl Sara, who died falling from a hotel in Makkah last fortnight.
The key defendant in the case told the court that he had been involved in a relationship with the girl and that an argument arose when another Yemeni entered the site they used as a meeting place and demanded that she be returned to her family. He said he advised the girl to leave as soon as possible before her relations discovered her whereabouts, but claimed that instead she took fright and jumped from the building, landing on the roof of a neighboring hotel.
Some media outlets reported earlier that she had jumped from the hotel to escape attack.
The two suspects were held for questioning on Sept. 16, a day after Sara’s body was found, and it was initially suggested that the two suspects would be charged with rape, but local news sources said last week that a post-mortem report revealed that no such violation had taken place. “The girl was not exposed to any physical or criminal attack and was a virgin,” local newspapers quoted the autopsy report as saying.
The two suspects are, however, expected to be charged with “khulwa” – illegal seclusion with an unrelated member of the opposite sex – while the father of Sara has engaged the services of a French lawyer to pursue the case. – Okaz/SG/AFP