Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Saudi Court Sentences Three to Death, One to Jail | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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General Court in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. AFP

Riyadh-The Special Criminal Court in Riyadh on Wednesday sentenced three Saudis to death for firing at police patrols and the Qatif prison.

A fourth person was sentenced to 12 years in prison for firing at police patrols and government buildings and receiving and smuggling weapons by sea.

The judge condemned the first defendant after he was convicted of taking up arms against the leadership of the state and participating with a number of other accused in firing machine guns and pistols at more than one police patrol and the building of the prison.

This was adjudged banditry and corruption in the land.

He was found guilty of smuggling machine guns into the Kingdom and training people in shooting in support of those who died in the shootout with police in Qatif.

The accused was also convicted of taking part in operations to undermine domestic security, harboring others who participated in such crimes, possessing weapons to undermine public order and receiving messages through social media from one of those who have deviant thoughts.

His conviction was also related to coordinating through cellphones to obtain weapons and use them against police patrols.

The second defendant was also convicted of taking up arms against authorities as he participated with the others in firing a machine gun and two pistols more than 10 times at security patrols and at the building of Qatif prison.

He was also found guilty of training to use weapons in operations against homeland security, smuggling machine guns and pistols and trading in them, visiting one of the injured in a shootout with police and not reporting it to the authorities.

The third defendant was also convicted of similar charges.

Because the three defendants retracted their confessions, which were considered as an attempt to rule out their banditry to avoid punishment, the court decided to rule against their crimes and gave them the death sentence.

For his part, the fourth defendant was accused of taking part with the others in firing at police patrols and government buildings, receiving weapons by sea and smuggling them and harboring one of those wanted while being in a suspicious location.

He was sentenced to jail for 12 years, starting from the day of his arrest.

He was prohibited from traveling outside the Kingdom for a similar period that starts once he leaves prison.