Saudi sentences Chadians to death over Frenchman murder

16th January 2014, Comments 0 comments

A Saudi court has sentenced to death two Chadian Islamists convicted of murdering a French expatriate in the western city of Jeddah, state news agency SPA reported on Thursday.

The two are part of a group of 12 people -- seven Chadians, four Saudis, and a Yemeni -- accused of having formed "a terrorist group to kill non-Muslims" in the kingdom.

The remaining 10 were sentenced to prison terms of between four and 22 years in the hearing that took place on Wednesday, SPA reported.

No more details were given on the circumstances of the murder.

But in September 2004, a Frenchman who worked for French group Thales was killed in an attack in Jeddah, during a period in which the kingdom witnessed a wave of attacks attributed to Al-Qaeda.

On Tuesday, a Saudi court sentenced two suspected Al-Qaeda members to death for the 2007 murder of four French expatriates near the western city of Medina.

The two men were convicted of shooting dead the four while they were on a desert excursion from their homes in the capital Riyadh.

Another 12 men convicted of helping the attackers were jailed for periods of between three and 23 years, and banned from travelling abroad for a period equal to their sentence.

Police killed the suspected mastermind of the attack, Walid Motlaq al-Raddadi, a 23-year-old Saudi, in Medina in April 2007.

Authorities in the kingdom set up specialised terrorism courts in 2011 to try dozens of Saudis and foreigners accused of belonging to Al-Qaeda or of being involved in a wave of bloody attacks that swept the country from 2003.

The attacks prompted authorities to crack down on the jihadist network founded by Saudi-born Osama bin Laden, who was killed in a US commando operation in May 2011. The crackdown prompted many of the network's Saudi militants to shift base to neighbouring Yemen.

© 2014 AFP

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