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September 29, 2009

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Judge upholds caning for drinking beer

A JUDGE in Malaysia has upheld a court verdict to cane a Muslim woman for drinking beer, news reports said yesterday, re-igniting a controversy over Islamic justice in this moderate Muslim country.

The chief Shariah judge of Pahang state ruled a Shariah High Court's verdict against Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, 32, was correct.

If the punishment is carried out, Kartika would become the first Muslim woman to be caned in Malaysia, where about 60 percent of the 28 million people are Muslims. No date was set for the caning.

Kartika, a former model and nurse, was sentenced in July to six strokes of the cane and a fine of 5,000 ringgit (US$1,400) for drinking beer at a beach resort in 2007, in violation of Islamic law, which forbids drinking alcohol.


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