TV fortune-teller to be beheaded

The execution of Ali Sabat, the Lebanese TV fortune-teller who was arrested in Saudi Arabia on charges of witchcraft is reported to be imminent.

Mr Sabat, 46, hosted a phone-in show on the Lebanese Sheherazade channel where he gave advice and predicted the future. The Saudi religious police arrested him in Medina two years ago, while he was visiting on a pilgrimage.

Sorcery/witchcraft is a capital offence in the kingdom.

Posted by Brian Whitaker, 1 April 2010. 

UPDATE, 2 April 2010: The BBC says he has been given a "temporary" stay of execution. This is an encouraging sign and it suggests the Saudi authorities may be responding to international pressure.