Appeal

Sep 01, 2008 (LBO) – The man who acted as translator for a condemned Sri Lankan teenaged girl in a Saudi court was not a native Tamil speaker, her lawyer told court in an appeal hearing, a media report said.

She had been 17 at the time she went to work as a house maid in Saudi Arabia on documents which had been forged by an ’employment agency’ which said she was 23 years old. She was condemned last June.

Her birth certificate had stated that she was born on February 04, 2008.

Her lawyer told court in the appeal that Rizana was not hired as a nanny and she had no training in caring for newborn babies.

Also attending the hearing Saturday was the father of the deceased Naif Jiziyan Khalaf Al-Otaibi, Sri Lankan Ambassador Abdul Ageed Mohamed Marleen and a team of officials from the Sri Lankan Embassy in Riyadh, Arabnews said.

The family of the deceased baby had maintained that Rizana had committed pre-meditated murder.

Arabnews said Kateb Al-Shammary, representing Rizana Nafeek condemned to death when a baby in her care died while being bottle fed, said the interpreter that translated her documents to Arabic was originally from India’s Karnataka state where Kannada is spoken.