A Saudi criminal court began yesterday the prosecution of 41 defendants, 38 of them Saudis, one Qatari, one Yemeni and an Afghan, suspected of establishing a terrorist cell. According to Saudi authorities, the suspects tried to use the kingdom's territory to launch terrorist operations against U.S. forces in the states of Qatar and Kuwait.
The cell also aimed at financing armed groups in Iraq and Afghanistan, and recruiting operatives for al Qaeda in Iraq.
The prosecution called for death sentences for five of the defendants and prison terms for the others. The prosecutor read out the charges against the defendants during the court session. The presiding judge asked the defendants to submit their written answers to the charges against them. He accepted the request by some defendants to appoint lawyers and allowed them enough time to do so.