Oman: 31 Islamists jailed for plotting to overthrow leadership
Oman's state security court on Monday handed jail terms of between one and 20 years to 31 Islamists charged of plotting to overthrow Omani leadership and membership of a banned organization. The trial was held amid tight security in a special court in the Royal Oman Police headquarters.
The men were arrested in January, apparently in the interior of the country, a traditional stronghold of the Ibadis, the dominant group in Oman.
Defense lawyers claimed that their clients were innocent of the charges against them and had just sought to promote the teachings of the Sultanate's majority Ibadi sect.
According to AFP, Judge Hilal bin Hamad Busaidi said the defendants, all Omanis, could not appeal the verdict but could ask for a pardon from the ruler, Sultan Qaboos within 30 days.
Thirty were convicted of plotting to "overthrow the regime by force of arms and replace it by an imamate, by setting up a banned underground organization."
The accused, who were all in court, were also convicted of conducting military training, arming members with weapons obtained illegally and holding meetings aimed at recruiting new members.
During the trial, the local press reported that two defendants confessed to the allegations and said “the organization was aimed at spreading” the Ibadi branch of Islam.