SAUDI ARABIA: 15 PEOPLE SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR SPYING FOR IRAN
|Outside the Riyadh court that issued the verdicts
December 6, 2016: A court in the Saudi capital Riyadh sentenced 15 defendants found guilty of spying for Iran to death.
The espionage cell with the suspected links to the Iranian intelligence services is made up of 30 Saudi nationals, one Iranian and one Afghani.
Two members were acquitted while the others were condemned to prison terms ranging between six months and 25 years, Saudi news site Sabq reported.
The public prosecutor has requested the death penalty for 25 defendants and long prison sentences for the remaining seven.
In June, Saudi Arabia said that it arrested 32 spies with links to Iran and put them on trial.
The charges by the public prosecutor included the formation of a spy cell that liaised and collaborated with elements of Iranian intelligence to provide secret and sensitive information related to the military and that affects the national security, the territorial unity and integrity of Saudi Arabia and its armed forces.
The suspects were also accused of meeting Iran’s Supreme leader Ali Khamenei and coordinating with agents from Iranian intelligence.
Other charges included attempts to carry out acts of sabotage against economic interests and vital installations in Saudi Arabia, to undermine social peace and public order, spread chaos, incite sectarian strife, and carry out hostile acts against the kingdom.
The suspects also faced accusations of high treason of their country and king, and attempting to recruit people working in state agencies to commit acts of espionage for the Iranian intelligence service.
According to the charges, most suspects had travelled to Iran and Lebanon where they were trained in espionage techniques, including drafting coded messages.
Some of the suspects had hacked into computers to obtain sensitive information related to the internal and external security and the national economy of Saudi Arabia.
Other charges included supporting riots and demonstrations in Qatif in eastern Saudi Arabia, possessing weapons, forging documents and accepting bribes. (Sources: gulfnews.com, 06/12/2016)