Trial of 55 terror suspects begins in Riyadh

March 4, 2012

The Specialized Criminal Court started the trial of 55 defendants, including 54 Saudis and one Yemeni, today in Riyadh.

The General Prosecution accused them of joining an Al-Qaeda terrorist cell inside the country led by Salih Al-Awfi. They were also accused of conspiring to carry out a number of criminal acts to implement the schemes of the cell, which included the terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Jeddah; hostage-taking in the attack; using the hostages as human shields; resisting security forces by opening fire and throwing grenades at them; beginning to implement terrorist operations to kidnap or assassinate officials, security forces and foreigners; targeting security and oil installations; hijacking civilian aircraft; and other terrorism-related charges.

The criminal court began the trial yesterday and continued today. Defendants and Representatives of the Human Rights Commission attended the trial.

The hearing judge did not allow the presence of media at the request of the defendants.

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