Kingdom’s Ministry of Justice Responds to Comments Made by Canadian Foreign Ministry, Stresses Judicial Independence
August 10, 2018
In response to statements made by the Canadian Foreign Minister and Canadian Embassy in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on the purported “civil society activists” who were arrested before urging to release them immediately; the Minister of Justice, President of Supreme Judicial Council Dr. Walid Al Samaani, said “We categorically reject any interference from any party in the affairs of our country, especially in the judiciary.” Adding that the comments reflect a “lack of knowledge of the Saudi judiciary system.”
Dr. Al Samaani stressed the independence of the Kingdom’s judicial process, adding that the Saudi judiciary gives all defendants, including those charged with terrorism or violating national security, all guarantees required by fair trial procedures, starting from the trial of the accused before an independent court and before a judge in public trials, the defendant has the right to appoint a lawyer, and to see all documents and records of the accused, while the Ministry of Justice covers the costs of lawyers for those who cannot afford one.
He explained that the judicial system in the Kingdom also gives the accused the right to object to the rulings issued by methods prescribed for the objection. The system ensures the right to just compensation for the harm suffered if acquitted. The Justice Ministry said the Kingdom’s criminal justice system “complies with the rules of legal evidence in terms of admitting only the presented evidence, the presumption of innocence, challenging the ruling and the right for appeal."