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Saudi court convicts 330 on terrorism charges

[JURIST] A court in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday convicted 330 people on terrorism-related charges, according to a report by the state-run Saudi Press Agency [official website]. The Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution brought charges including belonging to a terrorist group, conspiracy to cause mayhem and insecurity, financing terrorism, and treason against people accused of conducting, financing and assisting a series of al Qaeda-linked attacks in 2003. The Special Penal Court sentenced one defendant to death [Al Jazeera report], although the name of the prisoner and the charges against him were not made public. A bureau spokesman said that the defendants could appeal their verdicts.

In October, Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz [official website] announced that the kingdom had indicted 991 [Reuters report] suspected al Qaeda members in connection with a series of domestic attacks that killed 164. Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] has been cricital [HRW report] of the Saudi justice system generally, and sought access [HRW request] to the trials to ensure that they complied with international standards.

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