saudi arabia

Two Saudis probed for Iran espionage links

Second Iran spying investigation in four years

18:14 July 17, 2017

Manama: The public prosecution in Saudi Arabia has concluded its investigations in the case of two Saudis suspected of intelligence for Iran.

The case will now be referred to the justice authorities for further legal action, Saudi daily Okaz reported on Monday.

The two men, who were not named, were arrested after authorities suspected they had been recruited to carry out espionage work for Iranian intelligence services.

The prosecution conducted several questioning sessions before it decided to proceed with the case, the daily added.

The case against the Saudi nationals caught spying for Iran is the second to be discovered by the authorities in Saudi Arabia.

In 2013, Saudi Arabia has arrested 32 people suspected of intelligence links to Iran.

The suspects were 30 Saudis, an Iranian and an Afghan.

The charges brought against them included the formation of a spy cell, which liaised and collaborated with elements of the Iranian intelligence to provide secret and sensitive information related to the military and that affects the national security, the territorial unity and integrity of Saudi Arabia and its armed forces.

The suspects were also accused of meeting Iran’s Supreme leader Ali Khamenei and coordinating with agents from the Iranian intelligence.

Other charges included attempts to carry out acts of sabotage against economic interests and vital installations in Saudi Arabia, to undermine social peace and public order, to spread chaos, to incite sectarian strife, and to carry out hostile acts against the kingdom.

The suspects also faced accusations of high treason of their country and king, and attempting to recruit people working in state agencies to commit acts of espionage for the Iranian intelligence service.

According to the charges, most suspects had travelled to Iran and Lebanon where they were trained on espionage techniques including drafting coded messages.

Some of the suspects had hacked into computers to obtain sensitive information related to the internal and external security and the national economy of Saudi Arabia.

Others charges included supporting riots and demonstrations in Qatif in eastern Saudi Arabia, possessing weapons, forging documents and accepting bribes.

During the trial, one Saudi and the Afghani were acquitted. The court sentenced 15 Saudis to death and the 15 others to prison terms ranging from six months to 25 years.