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Page last updated at 14:18 GMT, Wednesday, 7 October 2009 15:18 UK

Saudi court jails 'sex boast' man

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A Saudi Arabian man who boasted about his sex life on a TV talk show has been jailed for five years, his lawyer says.

Mazen Abdul Jawad was also sentenced to 1,000 lashes by a Saudi court on charges relating to immoral behaviour. His lawyer says he will appeal.

The Saudi offices of LBC, the Lebanon-based Arabic channel which broadcast the show in July, were shut last month.

On the show, filmed in his Jeddah home, Abdul Jawad spoke about picking up women and displayed sex toys on camera.

Extra-marital sex is illegal in Saudi Arabia, one of the most conservative societies in the Arab world.

The 32-year-old father-of-four's interview prompted around 200 complaints from Saudi viewers and calls for him to be punished.

Abdul Jawad later apologised, saying producers at the TV station had tricked him into some of his accounts.

'Scapegoat'

Abdul Jawad's lawyer, Sulaiman Jumaie, said three friends who appeared on the show with his client had been given two-year terms.

Mr Jumaie said the conviction was wrong because the men should have been tried in a court that specialised in media issues, not criminal cases.

"My client has been presented to the people as a scapegoat to cover up the real culprit LBC," Mr Jumaie said in a statement obtained by AFP news agency.

Saudi Arabia uses a strict Islamic law code. People who break the rules face punishment - lashes or imprisonment - for drinking or non-marital sex.

Correspondents say the rules are flouted by locals as well as expatriates, but almost everyone keeps quiet about it and hopes they will not be found out.



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