Sorcerer’s death sentence cut to 15-year jail

A Lebanese sorcerer was saved from the gallows when a court in Saudi Arabia reduced its death sentence against him to 15 years in prison after it was turned down by the supreme court, a newspaper reported on Saturday.

Ali Hassan Sabat, 46, was sentenced to death by a court in the western town of Madina early this year after he was convicted of deception through witchcraft two years ago, Al-Watan Arabic language daily said.

But the supreme court in Riyadh later overturned that verdict and decided to refer the case to a three-man tribunal, recommending that the defendant should get a commuted sentence before he is deported from the Gulf kingdom.

Sabat, who hit headlines in the kingdom as the “Sorcerer of Shahrazad” two years ago, pleaded guilty in court but asked for mercy.

“The court in Madina annulled its death verdict and sentenced Sabat to 15 years in prison after its earlier sentence was turned down by the supreme court…he is to be deported from Saudi Arabia after completing his jail term.”

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