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Monday, 13 March, 2000, 17:36 GMT
Death by stoning appeal
Arab woman
Women cannot have children out of wedlock in the UAE
By Julia Wheeler in Dubai

An appeal hearing has started in the case of an Indonesian woman sentenced to be stoned to death for adultery in the United Arab Emirates.

Kartini binti Karim, 36, who had been working as a housemaid before her arrest and conviction, appeared in court in the east coast Emirate of Fujairah.

It has now been confirmed by the Indonesian embassy in Abu Dhabi that she gave birth to a daughter last month.

It says the baby girl, Naida, was born while her mother was in custody and that she is currently being cared for by female police officers in Fujairah.

Diplomats say the charge of adultery was brought after Ms Karim suffered from morning sickness and was taken to the doctor by her employer.

They say that, when she was discovered to be pregnant but without a husband in the country, the employer took her to the police and the legal proceedings began.

The man involved in the adultery, believed to be an Indian national, is reported locally to have fled the UAE before he could be arrested.

Marital status unclear

It is still not clear if Ms Karim is married; her embassy says she has indicated she is a widow.

The Indonesian Embassy has appointed a lawyer and translator to the case and is waiting to hear a date when the appeal hearing will continue.

It is unlikely to be before the end of the Muslim Eid al Adha holiday, which finishes next Monday.

If the appeal is unsuccessful, the case is expected to be referred to a higher court in the capital, Abu Dhabi.

Any death sentence in the Emirates must be ratified personally by the country's president before it can be carried out.

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14 Dec 99 | Middle East
UAE upholds death sentences
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