Saudi judge delays ruling on divorce for eight-year-old

December 21st, 2008 - 4:24 am ICT by IANS  

Riyadh, Dec 21 (DPA) An eight-year-old girl seeking divorce from a man about 50 years her senior will have to wait until February for a legal ruling after a Saudi Arabian judge decided not to render a verdict Saturday.The girl’s mother filed the case in her daughter’s name after the girl’s father sold the eight-year-old into marriage. The husband, who considers the marriage legal, has refused to divorce the girl, according to judicial sources.

The judge, who heard the case in the town of Unayzah, ordered the husband and the mother to find a compromise. The case will come before the court again at the start of February. Until then, the girl will continue to live with her mother.

The mother declined comment after the judge’s ruling.

The girl’s mother had left the father before he married their daughter off. The marriage was in accordance with the law, which allowed him to trade his daughter in marriage in exchange for having about $7,500 in debt erased.

During the first hearing on the matter in August the husband refused to allow the marriage’s dissolution, arguing that the marriage had not yet been consummated.

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