Saudi reformers may get verdicts next week


Some of 16 Saudi reform activists being tried on security and sedition charges may receive their verdicts next week after spending more than four years in detention, their lawyer said on Saturday. Most of the lawyers, professors and activists in the group were detained in 2007 after they met in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah to discuss reform in the conservative Muslim kingdom. “Some of the verdicts could come out on Tuesday or Wednesday,” lawyer Bassim Alim told Reuters. “There are basically two scenarios.
The first is that they would be let out on the basis that they had already served enough time and the second is that they will get a few more years which will give time for the king to pardon them in due course,” Alim said. Among other offences, the defendants had been charged with attempting to seize power, incitement against the king, financing terrorism, electronic crimes, money laundering and trying to set up a political party in Saudi Arabia, where political groupings are banned.