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Saudi Justice Spokesman Confirms National High Court Upholding Appeal Rights | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The Kingdom Tower stands in the night above the Saudi capital Riyadh November 16, 2007. REUTERS/Ali Jarekji (SAUDI ARABIA) – RTX1NKK

All convicts in Saudi Courts are entitled to fair trials fulfilling all standards, conditions and requirements, while also complying with all legal requirements in force in the Kingdom, Justice ministry spokesman Mansour Al-Qafari said in a statement on Friday.

Verdicts issued against accused in terrorist cases are subject to reconsideration and review by the Specialized Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court, the Saudi state-owned news agency SPA cited Qafari as saying.

Saudi courts are independent entities operating according to the basic law of governance and implementing Islamic Law provisions, said the spokesman.

Courts also monitor closely procedural laws of trials and ensures providing fair trial guarantee to all those accused, he added.

Regarding death penalties specifically, they are required to be endorsed by the Specialized Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. Such verdicts have to go through several stages of examination involving the participation of 13 judges before the issued ruling may be finally adopted.

Throughout that period, the convict enjoys all judicial guarantees they are entitled to, including the right to seek the assistance of lawyers of their choosing to defend them. A lawyer is afforded to the defendant should they be unable to secure one.

On the other hand, trial hearings are held in presence of the convict’s relatives, media representatives and the Human Rights Commission.

In cases where those accused are non-Saudi nationals, their embassies are notified to dispatch representatives to attend such trials. The court grants the accused sufficient time to prepare and submit their defense.

Severe sentences are issued only in cases of the most dangerous crimes including threats to social safety and security and violating human rights and especially the right to life and security.

It may also occur that some cases are concluded with the acquittal of the accused, or with the Supreme Court or the Specialized Court of Appeal rejecting the verdict issued by the Specialized Criminal Court and requesting retrial, re-examination of the case or mitigation of the sentence.