JEDDAH: A Saudi special court jailed 33 people for up to 30 years after finding them guilty of “forming a terror cell” among other charges, state news agency SPA reported Monday. The 33 are part of a group of 71 people who have been on trial since Sunday for various charges including accusing the kingdom’s rulers of “infidelity”, said SPA
They were also convicted of “smuggling a number of prisoners” out of jail as well as “targeting clerics, princes, and members of the security forces,” the agency said.
Their prison terms range from six months to 30 years. The cell members were arrested when security forces raided their hideout in Riyadh in 2007 in an operation that left one member of the security forces and six of the group dead. Three of the 71 defendants have been acquitted, and some alleged members of the cell have been released on bail pending their trial, media reported. It is unclear if the court will continue the trial of the remaining 35 defendants. The trial is the latest in a series of prosecutions that began in July 2011 for alleged offences committed during the peak of Al-Qaeda violence in the kingdom between 2003 and 2006.
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