Saudi Arabia Convicts 323 Terror Suspects

July 14, 2009

[Washington] -- Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Justice released more details on the rulings announced on July 8, 2009 regarding 330 terror-suspects indicted on 179 terror-related cases.

Detailing the results of the Saudi Arabia’s successful efforts to track, arrest and bring to justice terror suspects, Sheikh Dr. Abdullah Al-Saadan, a spokesman for the Ministry of Justice, announced during a press conference yesterday, that of the 330 terror-suspect tried, seven were acquitted, 323 received jail sentences—varying from a few months to 30 years, with 13 received sentences of more than 20 years; 15 were sentenced to pay a fine in addition to their prison terms; one person was given the death sentence.  Under Saudi law, the convictions may be appealed to the Supreme Court.

“Saudi Arabia is fully committed to preventing terrorism and punishing those who would target innocents in the Kingdom and around the world,” Saudi Ambassador to the United States, Adel A. Al-Jubeir, said today. “The conviction of these terrorists should serve as an example to others; terrorists will be pursued, will be captured and will be punished.”

Al-Saadan added that 42 of the convicted terrorists will not be released from prison following their sentence unless they have repented before the judiciary.  An additional 15 will be sentenced to house arrest following the completion of their prison term.  Three were barred from travelling abroad.

The Ministry of Justice is currently planning to allow the press to cover subsequent trails; however, priority will be given to the relatives of victims and those on trial based and judges have the right to close all or part of the trial for reasons of national security.

Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz recently announced that militants have been responsible for more than 30 attacks in the Kingdom since May 2003; however, Saudi Arabia has not experienced an attack since February 2006. Ninety civilians and 74 members of the security forces have been killed, while 439 civilians and 657 members of the security forces have been injured. Saudi security forces have been instrumental in preventing 160 terrorist attacks.