Italian hostess loses appeal against Saudi drug conviction

ilaria de Rosa

 RIYADH – A Saudi Arabian judge has confirmed a six month prison sentence handed down to a 23-year-old Italian flight assistant on charges of allegedly possessing and trafficking in marijuana, rejecting an appeal filed by the young woman from the Veneto region, diplomatic sources said Friday.

 Ilaria De Rosa, has been held in a maximum security jail 45 km from Riyadh since she was arrested May 4, allegedly in possession of a marijuana cigarette found in her brassiere, which she says was not hers.

 Ms De Rosa was visited in prison by the Italian consul in Jeddah, Lorenzo Costa. She told him she had been at a party with three friends when armed men burst in and searched her. She only understood that she had been arrested when she was taken to a police station where she was held for five days.

 She was interrogated and signed a document in Arabic without knowing its contents.

An appeal was rejected on Thursday and she will have to serve her prison term until November before being released and expelled from the country, the sources said, unless an appeal to the King of Saudi Arabia is successful.