Saudi man executed for witchcraft

REUTERS - Saudi Arabia executed a man for practising witchcraft and committing adultery, the state news agency said on Tuesday citing a statement from the Interior Ministry.

"Mareeh bin Ali bin Issa al-Asiri (Saudi national) practised witchcraft and sorcery, and was in possession of books and talismans from which he learnt to harm God's worshippers and admitted adultery with two women," said the statement.

Asiri was executed in Najran Province near Saudi Arabia's border with Yemen, Saudi Press Agency reported.

Last year the world's top oil exporter, where judges follow the strict Wahhabi school of Islam and decide cases without reference to a written penal code, beheaded a man and a woman for witchcraft in two separate cases.

Amnesty International said at least 82 people were executed in Saudi Arabia last year, many of them by public beheading.

(Reporting by Angus McDowall; Editing by Pravin Char)