A court of Saudi Arabia has sentenced death to 15 people due to spying for Iran, arch-enemy of kingdom, reported by Saudi-held media, in a verdict that possibly will further fuel up tension among 2 rival powers.
The particular Riyadh criminal court punished 15 further suspects to jail terms varying from 6 months to 25 years, and 2 were released, al-Riyadh the newspaper of Arabic language stated on their website.
The 30 suspects, encompassed Shia Muslims of Saudi Arabia, 1 Afghan and1 Iranian, in 2013 were seized on accusations of spying in favor of Iran and trialed in February. The verdicts are dependent on appeal, and sentences death has to depart to king for approval.
The assessment is the 1st in current recollection in which citizens of Saudi Arabia have been blamed of spying at such a high tension time among Sunni powerhouse Saudi Arabia, and non-Arab Shia theocracy Iran, over authority in Middle East.
Saudi Arabia in January, executed Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, well-known cleric of Shia, who was involved in policemen killing, prompting activists to attack Tehran’s Saudi embassy. Riyadh after that broke off political ties.
Lots of suspects are ex-employees of Saudi interior and defense ministries, stated by Saudi media. They were charged of creating a spy circle and giving sensitive security and military info to Iran, in order to harm Saudi financial interests, weakening community unity and stirring sectarian conflict.
The charges in addition comprised supporting objections in Shia-majority Qatif area in Province of East, employing others for spying, transporting encrypted information to intelligence of Iran by means of email and commending high treachery in opposition to king.
In the middle of those detained in 2013 were an old professor of university, a banker, a pediatrician and 2 clerics. The majority of them were from al-Ahsa, a diverse Sunni and Shia area that is residence to approx half of minority Shia community members of kingdom.