A Saudi Arabian court on Jan. 12 sentenced to death a member of a militant cell convicted of producing explosives used in a May 2004 suicide attack on a western company operating in Saudi Arabia's northwestern port city of Yanbu. According to reports, the court also handed down sentences ranging from three to 12 years to 10 other co-defendants convicted of lesser offenses, including financing the attack and sheltering those involved. Reports indicate that the attack stemmed from a 2003 al-Qaeda initiative, which sought to interfere with relations between the US and Saudi Arabia. The accused have 30 days to appeal their sentences.
Saudi Arabia's justice system has drawn international criticism in recent years, especially with regard to its high number of executions. Last month a Saudi criminal court sentenced a militant to death for his role in an attack on the US Consulate in Jeddah in 2004. In 2008 Amnesty International released a report linking large number of executions in Saudi Arabia to flaws in the Saudi judicial system.
From Jurist, Jan. 13. Used with permission.