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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - By Ibrahim Alawi
JEDDAH — The Specialized Criminal Court in Riyadh started on Thursday the trial of the two defendants who are Yemeni nationals in connection with the stabbing incident in Riyadh last month.
The charge sheet against the main defendant says that he was assigned by one of the leaders of the Al-Qaeda terrorist outfit in Yemen to plan and carry out attack on performers during the Riyadh Season festival.
Three performers, including a woman, who were members of a theatrical group, were stabbed while performing in a live show staged as part of the Riyadh Season festival at King Abdullah Park in Malaz district on Nov. 11.
The man, carrying a knife, stormed onto the stage to attack performers in theatrical costumes during a musical performance and the security men immediately stormed and overpowered the attacker.
Okaz/Saudi Gazette has learned that the first defendant is a resident while the second one is an illegal resident.
It was revealed in the investigations that the first defendant, aged 33, was the perpetrator of the attack while the second one was involved in the crime by giving shelter to the attacker.
According to the charge sheet filed by the Public Prosecution, the first defendant belonged to Al-Qaeda terrorist outfit based in Yemen and took part in its battle. The charges included armed attack on the troupe of performers and stabbing them as well as one of the security men.
The assailant was accused of intimidating people and causing chaos and terror among the audience, in an attempt to compel the authorities to refrain from carrying out entertainment activities in the Kingdom as well as incite others to carry out terrorist attacks.
The charges also include carrying a knife for terror attack and committing crimes punishable under the law to combat terror and its funding.
The defendant also intended to prepare, send and store what would undermine the public order by photographing himself masked and delivering a poem that aimed to incite provocation against the General Entertainment Authority from his mobile phone and sending it to others through the social networking application of WhatsApp.
The charges against the second defendant include giving cover to the first defendant for planning the terrorist crime of looting a bank’s automated teller machine in the Kingdom and sending the money to Al-Qaeda in Yemen, and covered up the first defendant’s joining of the terrorist outfit.
He was also accused of crimes such as participating in the circulation of counterfeit banknotes within the Kingdom, involvement in fraudulent means, and buying a machine gun by spending counterfeit notes worth SR 2,500, besides entering the Kingdom as a smuggler.
It is noteworthy that the Ministry of Justice deputed lawyers to appear for the defendants at its own expense.
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