JEDDAH: The Saudi Specialized Criminal Court on Tuesday sentenced to death 15 people convicted of spying for Iran.
The defendants were found to be members of an Iranian spy cell consisting of 32 terrorists — 30 Saudis, one Iranian and one Afghan.
They are charged with forming a spy cell and communicating with the Iranian intelligence with the intention to harm the Kingdom’s security.
The 32 defendants in the case known as the “Iranian spy cell,” because of their association with the Iranian intelligence and Revolutionary Guards, are accused of having constituted the cell in collaboration with Iranian intelligence officers and providing the latter with vital, secret information, including sensitive military secrets, which could seriously affect the security, unity and safety of the Kingdom and its armed forces.
Some accusations are: Seeking to commit acts of sabotage against vital economic interests and facilities in the country, disturbing peace and public peace, attempting to damage the unity of the community, spreading chaos and sectarianism and carrying out acts hostile to the Kingdom.
Other charges include recruitment of Saudi nationals to carry out orders that serve the interests of the Iranian intelligence and to provide it with information vital to the security of Saudi Arabia in return for cash, goods and other advantages.
The most serious charges are high treason, committing the crime of spying and collaborating with elements of the Iranian intelligence, providing intelligence about the military and security situation of the country, including the number of aircraft and military bases.
The court stressed that the judicial system gives the right to each accused to be defended, give answers and make requests by leaving long periods of time between hearing and deliberation sessions, which numbered over 160.
The court also accepted adjourning the hearing sessions for a number of defendants, upon request, for taking their school exams, for example.
Each defendant had his own, separate hearing session, to ensure he can present his case in court freely, and each could appoint the lawyer of his choice.
In the case of those unable to hire a lawyer, the court designated one at the state’s expense, in accordance with the Criminal Procedures Law.
Defendants and lawyers were allowed to meet, at the detention center, to prepare for the cases.
They were also allowed to confer during the court hearings and to decide what goes in the court transcripts, and were provided with copies of the session minutes upon their request.