08/19/2009, 00.00
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Malaysian model punished for drinking beer, caned in accordance with Sharia

The 32-year-old woman accepts sentence and will not appeal. Drinking alcoholic beverages is banned under Islamic law. Prosecutor claims the verdict is “educational” in purpose. In her case the cane to flog her will be “lighter” than for men.

Kuala Lumpur (AsiaNews/Agencies) – A Muslim model was sentenced to jail and caning for drinking beer. She is the first Muslim woman in Malaysia to be given this kind of punishment for breaking Islamic law which bans alcoholic beverages, the more so if the offender is a woman.

Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, a 32-year-old part-time model (pictured), admitted her guilt before Sharia Court judges and was sentenced this morning according to Islamic precepts.

In 2008 she was caught drinking a beer in a nightclub in the eastern State of Pahang.

Last July the Sharia High Court in eastern Pahang State convicted her and sentenced her to prison and caning. Today her verdict was confirmed. She did not appeal the conviction.

On 24 August the Muslim model will start her one-week prison sentence.

In its ruling the Sharia Court said she will be flogged six times with a rattan cane, but it is up to prison authorities to decide when to cane her during her period in prison.

For Prosecutor Saiful Idham Sahimi Kartika will be the first woman to be caned under Islamic law. “This is the first case in Malaysia,” he said. “It is a good punishment because under Islamic law a person who drinks commits a serious offence,” but she will be released “as soon as possible” after the caning is carried out.

Saiful said the rattan cane to be used on Kartika would be lighter than the one used on men, and its purpose was to “educate” rather than punish.

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