Saudi 'to probe Yemenis' over teen pilgrim's rape, murder

26th September 2010, Comments 0 comments

A court in Saudi Arabia is investigating two Yemeni men accused of raping and murdering an Algerian teenager while she was on pilgrimage in Mecca, a report said on Sunday.

One of the two Yemenis who was described as a key defendant would be prosecuted for attempted rape, the Saudi daily Okaz reported.

The Yemenis were held for questioning on September 16, a day after the body of the 15-year-old girl was found on the roof of a hotel neighbouring the one in which she had been staying.

Saudi media reported at the time that she threw herself from a balcony in her hotel in an attempt to escape an attack.

The Yemenis had been detained along with two Bangladeshi men who were released after being held in custody for one day, according to Al-Riyadh newspaper.

The Yemenis could face the death sentence under Sharia Islamic law, in force in Saudi Arabia.

The teenager, who lived in France, had come to the holy city of Mecca with members of her family to perform the Umrah or minor Muslim pilgrimage, officials said.

Her French mother had come to Mecca with her Algerian father and seven-year-old brother from the southern French port city of Marseille.

© 2010 AFP

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