Manama: A Saudi court has postponed the trial of a Lebanese national charged with encouraging a Saudi woman to convert to Christianity and helping her leave the country clandestinely.
The court said it was putting off the case until next month to give the suspect’s lawyer another chance to prepare his response to the accusations levelled by the attorney of the woman’s family, local news site Sabq reported on Sunday.
The judge ordered the summoning of employees who worked with the suspect and the Saudi woman in an insurance company in Khobar, one of the largest cities in eastern Saudi Arabia, to give their testimony.
The woman’s father accused the Lebanese former insurance director of abusing his position to influence his daughter to convert to Christianity and to leave Saudi Arabia for another country.
The woman reportedly left for Lebanon where she remained for some time before moving to Turkey and later to Sweden. A videotaped interview allegedly conducted with the woman by a pro-Christianity television station was posted on a social network, but it was later disputed that the woman, whose lower part of the face was covered, was not the Saudi woman.
According to Saudi media, the woman told her family over the phone that she regretted leaving her homeland and that she was forced to stay with the people who looked after her.
The woman said that she had been warned she would face certain death if she returned to Saudi Arabia. However, the family told the media that they had pledged in writing not to harm her and they just wanted her to return safely.
The case was made public after the woman’s father filed a lawsuit against a Saudi and Lebanese man for their alleged influence on her to convert to Christianity and their role in facilitating her departure from Saudi Arabia.
The two men were arrested and released on bail pending their trial, but the Lebanese was re-arrested. He was put on trial last week, but the judge postponed looking into the case and requested his lawyer to respond to the accusations.