President Mahinda Rajapaksa has written to the King of Saudi Arabia for the clemency of Sri Lankan maid Rizana Nafeek who face faces death sentence in Saudi jail on charges of murdering an infant boy.
Rizana Nafeek was arrested in May 2005 on charges of murdering an infant in her care. She was 17 years old at the time. On 16 June 2007, she was sentenced to death by a court in Dawadmi, a town west of the capital Riyadh. The sentence was subsequently upheld by the Court of Cassation and sent for ratification by the Supreme Judicial Council. However, the Council sent it back to the lower court for further clarification.
The case then went back and forth between the courts until on or around 25 October 2010, when the Supreme Court in Riyadh upheld the death sentence. The case was then sent to the King for ratification of the death sentence.
On 17th October last year President Mahinda Rajapaksa had met with Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia handled files connected with Rizana Nafeek on the sidelines of the Asia Corporate Dialogue Summit held in the Kuwait City.
President Rajapaksa took a personal interest in the case of Rizana Nafeek.