Saudi media: Egyptian doctors who illegally traded drugs get prison, lashes

Two Egyptian doctors sentenced to prison and lashes in Saudi Arabia had engaged in the illicit trade of pharmaceuticals and one had an affair with several of his female patients, the Saudi Press Agency reported Sunday. Quoting a statement from the health department in the city of Mecca, the official news agency said the two doctors had confessed to the crimes. The department said it issued the statement, released a year after the sentencing, for "clarity." It appeared to come in response to angry criticism of Saudi Arabia in the Egyptian press in recent weeks after news of the sentencing became public. Egyptian human rights groups have demanded that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who maintains close ties with the Saudi royal family, intervene to free the doctors.