Saudi Gazette report
AL-KHOBAR — The Al-Khobar District Court found a Lebanese national and a Saudi guilty of brainwashing a Saudi woman to convert to Christianity and helping her leave the Kingdom with a false travel permit over a year ago, local media reported on Sunday.
The Lebanese man was sentenced to six years in prison and 300 lashes while the Saudi was sentenced to two years and 200 lashes.
The July 2012 case created a stir in the Kingdom.
The woman, known only as “the Al- Khobar girl,” was granted refuge in Sweden where she lives under the protection of unspecified NGOs, according to local press reports.
She had appeared in a YouTube video last year in which she announced that she had chosen to convert to Christianity.
The Al-Khobar Administrative Court will pass judgment into the case of forgery, bribery and abuse of power involving a passport officer who allegedly falsified a travel permit for the woman so that she could exit the Kingdom.
Humood Al-Khaldi, the lawyer representing the woman’s family, said the family members were satisfied with the verdict.
The lawyers of both defendants challenged the verdict and said they would file an appeal with the Court of Appeals.
The case began when the Saudi woman working for an insurance company was drawn into deep religious discussions by her Lebanese colleague.
A Saudi working as an expeditor for the same company was accused of helping the woman obtain false travel permit and leave the Kingdom for Bahrain and on to Lebanon.
The woman’s father filed a lawsuit against the Lebanese and the Saudi expeditor immediately after learning that his daughter had embraced Christianity and fled to Lebanon. A number of her colleagues testified in the case against the Lebanese while her driver testified that he handed over to the man her personal belongings.
The Lebanese sent the stuff to Lebanon. This proved that he had planned out the whole thing and premeditated the woman’s conversion to Christianity.