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Prosecution Demands Maximum Penalty for Saudi Supporting Terrorist Group

Prosecution Demands Maximum Penalty for Saudi Supporting Terrorist Group

Wednesday, 28 February, 2018 - 11:15
Saudi security forces in Riyadh. (Reuters)

Specialized Criminal Court in Saudi Arabia began its first session of the trial of a Saudi citizen accused of allegiance to a hostile foreign state and speaking offensively about the Kingdom.

Saudi Public Prosecution accused him of belonging to the Lebanese Hezbollah, supporting the party and showing his affection for its leader, Hassan Nasrallah. This act is considered criminal and punishable by Saudi law under a royal order issued five years ago.

The Saudi citizen is accused of financing terrorism, as the Public Prosecutor proved that he donated over $50,000 to support Lebanese Hezbollah, as well as $13,000 to support the suspended Bahraini al-Wefaq association. He also handed a similar amount to support the office of Khomeini, founder of Iranian Revolution, at the request of a person.

The indictment also revealed that he participated in raising funds and distributing them in Saudi Arabia and sending most of them abroad to members who show hostility to the country, in violation of Saudi regulations and laws.

The prosecution also accused the Saudi of threatening an official in the city of Tarot in al-Qatif province, east Saudi Arabia, with messages sent via WhatsApp application. He also threatened the same official once.

The convict was also charged with having a collection of pictures and video clips of Hezbollah's leader on his cellphone. His mobile also contained an image of a wanted convict who was later killed during a clash with the security forces.

In addition, he was accused of participating in marches and banned demonstrations demanding the release of prisoners in security cases, demanding what the demonstrators claim to be their rights and repeating slogans against the state.

The Public Prosecutor's Office demanded maximum penalty for the defendant, in accordance with the royal order issued in 2014, which criminalizes “participating in hostilities outside the kingdom” with prison sentences of between three and 20 years.

The royal decree also criminalizes anyone who aids "terrorist organizations, groups, currents [of thought], associations, or parties, or demonstrates affiliation with them, or sympathy with them, or promotes them, or holds meetings under their umbrella, either inside or outside the kingdom; this includes participation in audio, written, or visual media; social media in its audio, written, or visual forms; internet websites; or circulating their contents in any form, or using slogans of these groups and currents [of thought], or any symbols which point to support or sympathy with them."

The prosecution also demanded that he be sentenced in accordance with the information crimes system, which includes imprisonment and a fine, as well as banning him from traveling outside the country.

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