Sri Lankan president appeals to Saudi Arabia to pardon maid

Arab World Materials 26 October 2010 15:58 (UTC +04:00)

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa Tuesday appealed to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia to pardon a Sri Lankan maid sentenced to death for killing an infant, a government official said, DPA reported.

Rizana Nafeek was found guilty of killing her employer's 4-month-old boy in 2005, but she said the death was an accident and that the infant had choked to death on milk.

Rajapaksa's appeal came after the Saudi Supreme Court last week rejected an appeal filed on behalf of the maid, who was only 17 years at the time of infant's death. She was one year below the eligible age to seek employment, but had travelled on a forged passport.

Over half a million Sri Lankans are employed in Saudi Arabia, sending home an estimated 1 billion dollars per year.