Appeals Court upholds 15-year jail sentence of ‘Al-Qaeda mufti’

Appeals Court upholds 15-year jail sentence of ‘Al-Qaeda mufti’
Updated 28 November 2013

Appeals Court upholds 15-year jail sentence of ‘Al-Qaeda mufti’

Appeals Court upholds 15-year jail sentence of ‘Al-Qaeda mufti’

A special criminal court has upheld a 15-year prison term that was handed to Sulaiman Al-Alwan, also known as the “Al-Qaeda mufti,” in October.
The sentence was upheld after Al-Alwan appealed the preliminary ruling.
Al-Alwan was arrested on April 28, 2004, and released on bail in December 2012 for trial.
The Court of Appeals ruling is final and should be implemented immediately, which means he has six more years in jail and will be banned from traveling for 10 years on completion of his sentence.
The presiding judge of the special court in Riyadh had earlier convicted Al-Alwan of charges of visiting Al-Qaeda members and sanctioning suicide operations.
He was charged with abusing the nation’s judges and bureaucrats and accusing them of being more loyal to the country’s rulers than to divine rules and Prophetic traditions.
He described the religious scholars as “sultans” who only issue fatwas that suit the country’s leaders.
Charges against him also included questioning the legitimacy of the country’s rulers and financing terrorism through Al-Qaeda by collecting for and providing financial aid to Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, Al-Qaeda's leader.
He also called on security personnel not to follow orders from higher authorities to protect them from blasphemy, in addition to supporting 9/11 and breaking parole terms by visiting the houses of suspects arrested in security raids.
The 15-year prison sentence includes eight years for money laundering according to Article 16 of the law against money-laundering.
Al-Alwan is banned from traveling abroad for 10 years.
The defendant is to decide the means of atonement at the end of his sentence and will be subject to new lawsuits if he is found to be in violation of the law once again.