Maldives top court annuls death by stoning sentence for woman

The Maldives' top court has overturned a sentence of death by stoning issued to a woman found guilty of adultery.

The woman, who reportedly gave birth out of wedlock, was convicted by a magistrate court in Lhaviyani Atoll Naifaru island on Sunday.

Judge Mohamed Moosa passed the sentence on a woman who was convicted of committing adultery, under Article 1205 of the Maldivian Penal Code. According to the law, any punishment predetermined in the Quran under Shariah Law may be passed.

However, the Supreme Court quashed the sentence on Monday, saying that it was delivered in violation of the charges sought by prosecutors under the Sexual Offenses Act.

In 2015, a woman was sentenced to death by stoning for fornication in a local island, which had also been annulled by apex court saying that the ruling had violated legal procedures.

Death by stoning has not been carried out in the Maldives in recent history.

The island nation has previously issued flogging sentences to those convicted of extramarital sex.

In 2013, the case of a 15-year-old girl sentenced to 100 lashes after being found guilty of premarital sex prompted global concern. The High Court later overturned the verdict, saying she had been wrongly convicted.

Extramarital sex is illegal in the Maldives, although the ban does not apply to tourists.