Saudi confirms death penalties for murders of 4 French

Grim Judge about to Pound Gavel --- Image by © Bill Fritsch/Brand X/Corbis

Grim Judge about to Pound Gavel — Image by © Bill Fritsch/Brand X/Corbis

Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court has confirmed death sentences for two suspected Saudi Al-Qaeda members convicted of murdering four Frenchmen in 2007, a newspaper reported on Tuesday.

They had been sentenced by a special “terrorism” tribunal in January of last year, in verdicts now upheld by the highest court, the Arryadh daily said.

The pair were convicted of shooting dead the French nationals — one of whom was a teenager — near the western city of Medina while they were on a desert excursion from their homes in the capital Riyadh.

Another 12 men convicted of helping the attackers were jailed for between three and 23 years.

Police killed the suspected mastermind of the attack, Walid Motlaq al-Raddadi, a 23-year-old Saudi, in Medina about two months after the murders.

Authorities in the kingdom set up specialised courts in 2011 to try dozens of Saudis and foreigners accused of belonging to Al-Qaeda or of participating in a wave of attacks that swept the country from 2003.

Those shootings and bombings killed more than 150 Saudis and foreigners.

The kingdom’s current Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef oversaw a crackdown on the militants.

Arryadh also reported that a “terrorism” court in the Red Sea city of Jeddah sentenced eight Saudis to between one and 17 years for trying to establish an Al-Qaeda cell to carry out attacks.

It did not indicate when the cell was allegedly active.

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