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Father says model spared caning

Aug. 24, 2009 at 1:46 AM

KUALALUMPUR, Malaysia, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- A Malaysian model, previously sentenced to public caning for drinking beer, was returned home without undergoing the punishment, her father said Monday.

"They sent her back to the house. They said the top official asked them not to bring her to Kuala Lumpur," said Shukarno Abdul Muttalib, father of Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, CNN reported.

If the punishment had been carried out, the 32-year-Kartika would have become the first woman to be caned in the largely Muslim country for drinking beer in public.

She had been picked up from her father's house and was being taken to a prison Monday when her vehicle turned around to return her to home, the report said.

It was not clear whether her sentence had been dropped or put off to a different date. It was not known who ordered the woman sent back home.

"Now I am frightened and I am going to the police station to make a report," the father said. "I don't want them to say that Kartika ran away when they came here. I want them to know she was returned."

Although a moderate Muslim country, Malaysia does not permit alcohol consumption by Muslims, the report said.

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