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Judicial CP - July 2004

Corpun file 13712

BBC News Online, London, 5 July 2004

TV star pardons abusive husband

A man convicted in Saudi Arabia of beating up his wife has been freed from jail after she pardoned him.

Mohammed al-Fallatta had been sentenced to six months and 300 lashes after repeatedly hitting TV presenter Rania al-Baz's head against the floor.

A Saudi paper said he was freed on Saturday after serving half the term.

The case rose to prominence after pictures of Ms Baz's bruised face were published in Saudi newspapers causing outrage in the conservative kingdom.

She agreed to let papers print images of her injuries to raise awareness of what is believed to be a widespread problem.


Ms Baz, who was reported to have filed for divorce and custody of her two children after the beating, did not give details of the pardon deal.

She had settled "the case in a way satisfactory to both sides," she is quoted as saying by Arab News.

It is not known whether he received the corporal punishment as well.

Fallatta - an out-of-work singer - was convicted in April after pinning Ms Baz to the floor and repeatedly smashing her face into the marble tiles and the walls while choking her. He then left her unconscious at a local hospital.

She suffered 13 facial fractures and is still undergoing reconstructive surgery, Arab News says.

It adds that after her court victory, she had been chiefly concerned about being granted a divorce and permanent full custody of her two boys.


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