He’s not out of danger yet — far from it. This measure is one of damage control in the face of international scrutiny and ridicule, and an effort to buy time while the Saudis weigh their options. It does not change the basic legal situation in the country.
A Lebanese man sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia for sorcery has been given a temporary reprieve, his lawyer says.
Ali Sabat’s execution was scheduled for Friday but his lawyer, May el-Khansa, told the BBC she had been assured by a Lebanese minister it would not happen.
Mr Sabat, who is in his 40s, was the host of a satellite TV programme in which he predicted the future.
He was arrested by religious police while on pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia in 2008 and convicted of sorcery.
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri had been urged to intervene on his behalf.
“The minister of justice for Lebanon called me and told me that nothing would happen [on Friday],” Ms Khansa told the BBC.
“But after that I don’t have an answer as to if he will be alive or not.
“Time is passing and if they don’t kill him this Friday maybe next Friday,” Ms Khansa told the World Today programme.
There has been no official confirmation from Saudi Arabia, where executions are often carried out with little warning.
Amnesty International said Mr Sabat seemed to have been convicted for “exercising of his right to freedom of expression”….