Saudi Arabia condemns 15 to death for spying for Iran

Updated: Dec 07, 2016, 11:40 IST | Agencies

A Saudi court yesterday sentenced 15 people to death for spying for the kingdom's rival Iran

Riyadh: A Saudi court yesterday sentenced 15 people to death for spying for the kingdom's rival Iran, local media and a source close to the case said, in a move likely to heighten regional tensions. The source said that most of the 15 Saudis were members of the kingdom's Shi'ite minority.

Their trial opened in February, a month after Riyadh cut diplomatic ties with Tehran over the burning of the Saudi embassy and a consulate by Iranian demonstrators protesting the kingdom's execution of Shi'ite cleric Nimr al-Nimr. The most serious charge against them was high treason.

Prosecutors also alleged that the accused had divulged defence secrets, tried to commit sabotage, to recruit moles in government departments, to send coded information, and supported "riots" in the Shi'ite-dominated eastern district of Qatif, Saudi media reported.

The 15 were among a group of 32 people tried over the espionage allegations, Alriyadh newspaper said on its website. Some of the defendants were accused of meeting Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The death sentences will be appealed, said the source.

32
No. of people tried over espionage allegations

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