Sinabang Shari'a Court Decision No. 2 of 2015: Khalwat

The prosecution submitted that, on Saturday 6 December 2014 at approximately 11.00pm, the accused was found in close proximity with a person of the opposite sex out lawful matrimony (khalwat). The prosecution maintained that the accused and witness had engaged in sexual relations with each other, despite the fact that both parties were married to other people. This conduct contravened arts 4, 5 and 22(2) of Aceh Qanun No. 14 of 2003 on Close Proximity. After engaging in sexual relations, both parties were brought by several other witnesses to the local Simeule Timur police station.

The court found that, on the evidence before it, the accused was guilty of khalwat, as prescribed in arts 4, 5 and 22(2) of Aceh Qanun No. 14 of 2003. In sentencing the accused to nine strokes of the cane, it cited Surah Al-Isra' verse 32, which discourages sexual relations out of lawful matrimony (zina). In determining the severity of the sentence, the court noted that the accused:

  1. had conducted himself in a manner not consistent with the applicability of Islamic shari'a in Aceh;
  2. was already married; and
  3. had been carrying on an extra-marital affair with the witness for two years; but
  4. had acknowledged his misconduct;
  5. regretted his misconduct and vowed not to re-offend;
  6. had been cooperative throughout the proceeding and conducted herself appropriately; and
  7. was a first-time offender.
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