Cases went through fair legal process: Kingdom

Updated 05 January 2016

Cases went through fair legal process: Kingdom

RIYADH: All of the 47 people executed on Saturday underwent a thorough judicial process that guaranteed them a fair trial and ensured that justice would be served, regardless of ethnic or political affiliations of the accused, said Minister of Justice Walid Al-Samaani.
Al-Samaani said Saudi judiciary is an independent institution and is committed to objectivity and fairness based on Shariah that renders rights and justice to everyone.
Saudi Arabia is under the spotlight following the mass execution on Saturday that prompted loud criticism from certain quarters.
“Our courts are totally independent. No authority can influence them except Islamic law, and this has been confirmed by the applicable laws of the Kingdom and has been stressed by the rulers of the country,” the minister emphasized.
He added: “The leadership of the country has given full attention and care to the judiciary, and has supported it at all times,” noting that as with any criminal court, the trials of the accused individual are characterized by justice and fairness.
He said the judiciary has legal bases that govern the criminalization and punishment from the criminal point of view.
Al-Samaani said he would be sad to see bloodshed and mosques demolished by groups and organizations that adopt Takfeer (expiation) as a methodology, a flagrant breach of the teachings of Islam which prevents harming not only humans but also animals.
Sheikh Salman Al-Nashwan, secretary-general of the Supreme Judicial Council, pointed out that the convicts were given the right to defend themselves in fair public trials in the presence of stakeholders and the right to counsel, the government appointed attorneys to those who couldn’t afford them. In other words, they were given all the necessary judicial guarantees.
He explained that some of the trials took more than 10 years and went through all stages and levels of litigation.


Saudi Arabia reaffirms support for Afghanistan during donor conference

Updated 50 min 31 sec ago

Saudi Arabia reaffirms support for Afghanistan during donor conference

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has reaffirmed its support for Afghanistan during a pledging conference for the war-torn nation. 
The event, co-hosted by Finland and the United Nations in Geneva, saw the US, the European Union and other donors pledge billions of dollars in funding for Afghanistan.
Abdul Aziz Al-Wasel, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva, said the Kingdom has supported more than 35 projects in Afghanistan in various sectors, at a cost of more than $24m. 
The projects covered the humanitarian, health, education, water and food security fields. 
Al-Wasel said the Kingdom participated in all donor conferences held for Afghanistan out of its sense of responsibly towards Afghanistan and hopes for the country to achieve security and prosperity. 
He said the Kingdom believes that achieving stability in Afghanistan requires collective support through several steps, including conciliation between the Afghan government and the Taliban, as well as the group’s commitment to renounce violence and engage in the political process. 
Countries like Britain, the Netherlands, Germany, the United States and Canada stepped forward with hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of pledges for Afghanistan, after speeches from officials like Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.