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The defendant denied the woman’s allegations, saying his requests for a kiss were a mere joke. Image Credit:

Cairo: A Saudi court has ordered an employee to pay a fine of 4,000 riyals on sexual harassment charges after he was convicted of having attempted to kiss a female workmate, Saudi newspaper Okaz reported Tuesday.

The ruling was in response to a legal complaint by the woman against her work colleague accusing him of harassing her and repeatedly asking her for a kiss.

The claimant also accused her colleague of attempting to grope her, requesting to see her personal photos and threatening to cut her salary unless she responded to his requests.

The defendant denied the woman’s allegations, saying his requests for a kiss were a mere joke.

The married man, who is an Arab national, said he is known for good behaviour and is learning the Holy Quran by heart.

The court, which heard the case in Jeddah, said in an explanation for its verdict that it had commuted the

penalty against the man, opting for a fine rather than a jail term because he memorises the Quran, according to the report.

Names and ages of the man and his accuser were not given for legal reasons.

In recent years, Saudi Arabia has stepped up penalties against sexual offences. In 2018, the Saudi government approved an anti-harassment system including penalties of jail terms of up to five years and a fine of up to 300,000 riyals