Trial of Indonesian defendant in sexual harassment case done without notice, Kemlu sends diplomatic protest

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Jakarta, IO – The Indonesian government has sent a diplomatic protest note to Saudi Arabia for holding a trial of Muhammad Said (MS), an Indonesian citizen accused of sexually harassing a Lebanese national during umrah (minor hajj), without giving notice, reported CNN Indonesia, Monday (23/1).

Foreign Ministry’s (Kemlu) citizen protection director Judha Nugraha said the Indonesian Consulate General in Jeddah did not receive any information from the Saudi authorities regarding the trial of MS.

“Consular access to meet MS was only granted by the Saudi authorities on January 2, 2023. Thus, the Indonesian Consulate General in Jeddah has sent a diplomatic note of protest to the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” said Judha.

MS was arrested by the Saudi Police in November 2022 based on evidence from two eyewitnesses as well as his own confession. The judge also reached the verdict based on victim’s testimony and two Saudi security officers at the Grand Mosque.

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Spokesperson of Indonesian Consulate General in Jeddah Ajad Sudrajad said he is still studying the verdict given to MS. Ajad revealed that MS denied the prosecutor’s charge and witness statements during the trial.

However, they were not considered by the judge due to prior confession. Saudi Arabian court sentenced MS to two years in prison and to pay a fine of SAR 50,000 (Rp200 million). (un)