2004 News Story

Inmate found guilty of arson in 2003 prison fire

A Royal Decree has endorsed the findings of the committee set up by Minister of Interior Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz to investigate a fire in the Haer Penitentiary near Riyadh on September 14, 2003, that resulted in the death by suffocation of 68 inmates. The Committee concluded that the fire was intentionally set by inmate Saeed Fuhaid Al-Sbaiee. He is being referred to court. In addition, a number of the penitentiary's administrative officials and guards were found guilty of negligence and laxity in implementing evacuation plans and safety rules. The director of jails for Riyadh Province has been relieved of his post for reasons of weak supervision and follow-up, and other officials will be tried and punished. An amount of SR 100,000 [U.S. $ 25,702]will be disbursed to the heirs of the deceased.