Spy in Saudi: Egyptian sentenced to prison on espionage charges

Published August 24th, 2016 - 12:00 GMT
The Saudi flag. (AFP/File)
The Saudi flag. (AFP/File)

As part of Iran’s continuous attempt to interfere in Saudi Arabia’s internal affairs, an Egyptian expat has been sentenced to six years in prison for espionage charges.

The charges also included sending secret documents related to the Saudi Arabian army to the Iranian intelligence in the embassy in Lebanon.

The Egyptian convict admitted to sending information regarding internal conditions in Saudi Arabia via the secret military document he had obtained. The document included information about the platoon and its members. He had sent all the information via mail to the embassy in Lebanon.

He also admitted that he received an email from the embassy asking for more information as well as violating the labor law by working for person other than his guarantor.

The court handed him six years in prison, starting with the date of his arrest, a fine of SR5, 000 and deportation from the Kingdom after he serves out his prison term.

Egyptian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Naser Hamdi said that the Egyptian government respects the Saudi judicial system. He added that Egypt has no objection on the verdict.

During the phone call with Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, the ambassador said that this is a matter of the country’s security and justice should be done no matter who the convict is. He stressed that terrorism has no religion or nationality.

In 2013, Saudi investigations led to the arrest of a spy ring that included 30 Saudis, an Afghan and an Iranian who had direct links with Iranian intelligence officers and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRG).

The members met with 24 Iranian officials inside and outside of Saudi Arabia.

The convicts admitted to the espionage charges with Iranian intelligence and the use of encoding programs to send information about important military sites, airbases, and images about the borders with Yemen.

Earlier this year, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir gave the Iranian diplomatic mission and related entities 48 hours to leave the country. He said Riyadh would not allow Iran to undermine the Sunni kingdom’s security.

The decision came after angry Iranian protesters stormed and set ablaze the Saudi embassy in Tehran and the consulate in Mashhad.


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