Saudi Arabia sentences 14 to death for ‘terror attacks' in Qatif
Beheading by sword is the most common form of execution in Saudi Arabia. (AFP/File)
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The Special Criminal Court in Saudi Arabia sentenced 14 people to death for carrying out "terrorist attacks" in Qatif, targeting police officers, citizens and residents.
The judge ordered the release of a defendant, and confirmed jail terms of three to 15 years for nine others who were part of a terror cell that had killed 24 security officers and robbed passers-by in Al-Awamiya. The court had considered more than 400 charges against the armed group.
The charges included the destruction of property, drug trafficking, armed robbery of shops, and the robbing of Asian residents at gunpoint in the same area. The guilty have the right to appeal within 30 days of officially receiving the court’s verdict.
The people convicted appear to be part of a larger organized group, but the court did not release their militant affiliation.
The judge confirmed that defendants have the right to appeal before the Court of Appeals within 30 days of the receipt of the court decision, which is a right also guaranteed for the case’s prosecutor. The defense lawyer said he intended to appeal the rulings.
Saudi Arabia is on track to conduct over 100 executions before mid-year. Three days ago, Saudi Arabia executed the 95th person of 2016 - Fahd Houssawi, a Nigerian man convicted of murdering a Saudi police officer.
In 2015, a total of 158 people were killed in death penalties issued by Saudi Arabia.
By Mohammed Al-Sulami
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