Saudi King Pardons Rape Victim Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has pardoned a female rape victim who had been sentenced to 200 lashes for being alone with a man at the time of the attack who was not related to her, a Saudi newspaper reported Monday. The case had sparked international outcry. In a rare criticism of its Mideast ally, the White House had expressed its "astonishment" over the woman's sentence. Canada called it barbaric. Saudi Justice Minister Abdullah bin Muhammed al-Sheik told al-Jazirah newspaper that the pardon does not mean the king doubted the country's judges, but instead acted in the "interests of the people."