Justice Ministry releases more details on the terror trial verdicts

July 13, 2009

The Saudi Ministry of Justice today gave a breakdown of the special security courts rulings announced last Wednesday for the 330 terror-suspects, which include forty-one foreigners.

Ministry of Justice Spokesman Sheikh Dr. Abdullah Al-Saadan revealed at a news conference today that of the 330 terror-suspect tried, seven were acquitted, 323 received jail sentences varying from a few months to 30 years, with 13 receiving sentences of more than 20 years.  Fifteen were sentenced to pay a fine in addition to their prison terms.  One person was given the death sentence. 

Al-Saadan denied reports that women were among those convicted.

The convictions may be appealed to the Supreme Court.

The spokesman added that forty-two of those convicted will not be released from prison after they serve their sentences unless they repented before the judiciary and fifteen will be sentenced to house arrest after serving their prison terms.

Dr. Al-Saadan said that those acquitted may file for compensation against the state and confirmed that one such case was file and won by a former defendant.

Spokesman Dr. Al-Saadan said plans are under way to allow the press to cover subsequent trials. However, priority will be given to the relatives of victims and those on trial based on court capacity.  The judges, Dr. Al-Saadan added, have the right to close all or part of a trial for reasons of national security.

Dr. Al-Saadan said suspects were informed of their right to an attorney during the proceedings and that some have sought and were provided with court appointed lawyers, while others opted to defend themselves.

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