Saudis: Did we mention that the gang-rape victim confessed to adultery?

Oh, that’s why they’re going to lash her to pieces.

If only we’d known!

The justice ministry said in a statement carried by the official SPA news agency that the woman had owned up to having an extramarital affair with the man in the car.

“She admitted to … exchanging sinful relations,” the statement said, adding the woman was in state of undress with the man in the car before the attack took place.

The woman and her alleged lover remained quiet about the attack, which was only reported to the authorities several months later when the woman’s husband received an email from an unidentified source informing him of the affair.

“She admitted to what happened and the husband then reported the incident three months after it happened,” the justice ministry said, adding it wanted to correct the “largely incorrect” details published in the media about the case…

The woman’s husband told local media that they would appeal, even though the judge had warned that the sentence could be increased again if she loses the appeal.

Let’s count the discrepancies. The Saudis say she was in a car cheating on her husband; media accounts say she and the man she was with were abducted from a mall. The Saudis say the evidence of the affair came to light three months after the incident; the CNN story says the incident happened in March 2006 and the victim wasn’t sentenced until November, in which case why wasn’t the adultery accounted for at the trial stage? The Saudis say it was her husband who turned her in; her husband has stood by her throughout the process, though, notwithstanding the cultural pressures he must be facing to treat her as a shamed or “ruined” woman.

Thanks to JWF for the tip. Exit question: Anyone think this is anything other than the flimsiest of pretexts to somehow, ahem, “justify” the elevated punishment after the fact? Which, I hasten to remind you, we already know the real reason for.

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