SINGAPORE : A Singapore court sentenced a Saudi Arabian diplomat to four strokes of a cane and more than 26 months in jail for molesting a young hotel intern while on holiday in the city state last year, the Straits Times newspaper said on Friday.

Bander Yahya A. Alzahrani, 39, who is attached to the Saudi Arabia Embassy in Beijing, is appealing against his conviction and sentence, the newspaper said.

Caning is legal for male offenders in Singapore. The judicial system can hand down the corporal punishment for offences such as drug and sexual abuse, vandalism and rioting, or to foreigners who overstay visas by more than 90 days.

Alzahrani was granted bail for Sg$20,000 ($14,140) and will be appealing the sentence and conviction, his lawyer Shashi Nathan told AFP.

"He's obviously upset and disappointed, but he understands there's another stage of the appeal to be had, and that's what we will be preparing for," Nathan said.

The victim had initially refused to report the incident but staff members at the hotel later convinced her to contact police after they found out that she had been molested in Alzahrani's room, court papers showed.