Saudi sends 2,215 to trial on terrorism charges

Saudi frees 5,000 repenting convicted terrorists


Saudi Arabia has sent 2,215 people to trial on charges related to terrorism and has freed 5,000 repenting terrorists, a prosecution spokesman revealed in a statement obtained by Al Arabiya on Saturday.

A specialized criminal court has so far convicted 1,612 people on charges of terrorism, while another 603 are still on trial, according to the statement.

The Saudi prosecution also revealed that it is preparing lists of charges against 934 people and is investigating the cases of 1,931 others.

Saudi Arabia managed to quash an al Qaeda campaign from 2003 to 2006 that targeted expatriate housing compounds, embassies and oil facilities.

Riyadh destroyed the main al-Qaeda cells within Saudi Arabia, but some militants slipped into neighboring Yemen and regrouped to form a Yemen-based regional wing.

"This statement gives clear results of the progress regarding sending the detainees to justice," Interior Ministry spokesman Mansour al-Turki told state television.

Head of Saudi Human Rights Association Mefleh al-Qahtani said it is likely that the government will release another group of those convicted on terrorism charges.

(Written by Mustapha Ajbaili)