Saudi court jails Egyptian lawyer for five years

  • Share via facebook
  • Tweet this
  • Bookmark and Share
(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

An Egyptian lawyer whose arrest on drug smuggling charges in Saudi Arabia last year caused a diplomatic row between Riyadh and Cairo was sentenced to five years in prison and 300 lashes on Tuesday, a witness present in court said.

The case has been closely watched by Egyptian activists who say Ahmed al-Gezawi was arrested because of his work documenting what he described as the poor treatment of Egyptians working in Saudi Arabia, which Riyadh denies. Rights groups say the Saudi legal system is unfair, another charge Riyadh denies.

Nearly 1,000 people gathered outside the Saudi embassy in Cairo last April after Gezawi was detained on arrival at Jeddah airport, with some hurling shoes and shouting insults directed at the kingdom's rulers.

Riyadh, which already feared that its close relationship with Egypt risked being undermined by the 2011 revolution that toppled autocratic President Hosni Mubarak, recalled its ambassador.

But Cairo flew a high-level delegation to the Saudi capital within days to affirm its commitment to keeping ties strong. Cairo is a major recipient of Saudi aid.

Gezawi was charged with smuggling around 21,000 pills of the anti-anxiety drug Xanax into Saudi Arabia. His former lawyer - who quit the case because Gezawi failed to pay legal fees - has said the public prosecution was seeking the death penalty.

Two other men on trial on Tuesday, a Saudi and an Egyptian, were also sentenced to prison terms and lashes, the witness said.

Related:
Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

  • No comments yet, be the first!

Enter the words above: Enter the numbers you hear:

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
Is this the end of the Gulf’s Indian cash dash?

Is this the end of the Gulf’s Indian cash dash?

From currency woes to taxation loopholes closing and a clampdown...

2
Q&A with Dubai Chamber

Q&A with Dubai Chamber

We spoke with Essa Al Zaabi of Dubai Chamber of Commerce to find...

The politics of big data

The politics of big data

The UAE may be one of the fastest adopters of e-government initiatives...

Most Discussed
  • 14
    Baby NOT on board?

    The people commenting here were all 20 years old when they were born, never cried, never screamed and never ran etc etc.
    more

    Thursday, 21 August 2014 8:30 AM - Amer
  • 7
    CEO of Just Falafel to step down

    Just Falafel was a disaster waiting to happen. The food isn't even that good and the focus wasn't on building the brand and operations. Instead they focused... more

    Thursday, 21 August 2014 8:37 PM - milad
  • 6
    Belgium diplomat arrested for pulling veil from Qatari princess

    If its illegal to dress in a certain way why didnt the police do something about it.

    Whereever the Europeans go, they demand that society conforms... more

    Thursday, 21 August 2014 8:37 PM - Ghazi