Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Saudi Arabia: Panel of Judges to Examine Terror-Related Arrests | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat- Sources affiliated to the Saudi Ministry of Justice have told Asharq Al Awsat that between six and seven judges will be assigned to the cases of those charged for involvement in terrorist attacks carried out in Riyadh on 12 May 2003.

According to the sources, the Saudi Ministry of Interior will be the only authority allowed to charge members of armed groups involved in terrorism. The Saudi ministries of Justice and Interior will coordinate to organize the cases before they are presented.

In July, sources from the Ministry of Justice stated that the first trial for a number of those charged for terrorist activity would soon take place.

Dr Abdullah Bin Mohammed al Sheikh, the Saudi minister of justice has previously stated that the accused has the right to a lawyer in accordance to the laws of criminal procedures in the country. He highlighted that these courts do not differ from existing courts in the country apart from a few formalities and procedures. He stated that the issued sentences would face appeals and the possibility of being brought before a court of cassation, just like any other courts.

Al Sheikh highlighted that although the courts will not differ to others, the procedures used by judges will vary slightly in dealing with this category of criminals. Sufficient media will be available for the accused to defend his case, making the case more accessible to media figures, those following the cases and legal representatives. The minister of justice stated that the existence of independent courts concerned with terror-related cases does not mean independence from the general framework of the law or a violation of the rights of the accused, which have now become clear. Rather, this system will demonstrate the transparency of the courts for Saudis and non-Saudis alike.

Over the past three years, Saudi Arabia has witnessed 22 terror-related crimes that have caused the deaths of 90 citizens and residents and have injured 507 people. The attacks also resulted in the deaths of 52 members of the security authorities and the wounding of 213 officers. 92 terrorists have been killed and 17 injured. The financial losses incurred with regards to properties and buildings has exceeded one billion Saudi Riyals. The security forces have successfully foiled over 52 terrorist attacks.