Saudi journalist to spend 20 years in jail for linking royals to al-Qaeda

Saudi journalist to spend 20 years in jail for linking royals to al-Qaeda
Tue Feb 4, 2014 22:16:41

A Saudi journalist has been sentenced to serve 12 years in prison for "disobeying the ruler" and accusing the kingdom of creating terrorism in televised remarks.

The convict, identified by local media as Wajdi al-Ghazzawi, was also accused of "contacting an enemy of Saudi Arabia at the time (in 2009) and receiving a suspicious sum of money from it," the SPA news agency reported.

The news agency did not name the country but local media had reported that Ghazzawi stands accused of receiving money from Libya's former leader Moamer Qaddafi in 2009, when tensions were running high between Tripoli and Riyadh.

The criminal court in Riyadh on Tuesday handed the journalist a 20-year travel ban and banned him from appearing in media.

The court convicted him of "disobeying the ruler on a television program, inciting sedition... discrediting the kingdom and claiming that terrorism and Al-Qaeda were created by Saudi Arabia."

He was also charged with spreading excerpts of the program over the internet and accusing the kingdom "of insulting residents and denying them their rights," according to SPA.

KQaddafi's regime was known for its stormy relations with Saudi Arabia during his four-decade rule, which ended with his killing by NATO-backed rebels in 2011.

In June 2004, articles in US and Saudi newspapers accused Qaddafi of allegedly plotting to assassinate Saudi King Abdullah, who was then crown prince.

Saudi Arabia has been widely blamed for its role in the ongoing crisis in Syria which has caused emerging of powerful al-Qaeda-linked groups in the war-torn country.


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