Ali Abul Qasim (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Saudi Arabia’s Tabuk Criminal Court sentenced on Thursday Egyptian engineer Ali Abul-Qasim to 25 years in prison after cancelling a death penalty over his conviction in a drug trafficking case.
The Saudi sentence ends a five-year-long ordeal for Abul-Qasim who was sentenced to death in 2017 by a lower court in the kingdom.
Abul-Qasim, who hails from Aswan governorate, had worked in Saudi Arabia since 2007.
He was convicted in 2017 on charges of importing agricultural equipment from Egypt in 2016 that contained narcotic tablets while working for a contracting company affiliated with the Saudi customs authority.
A Cairo Criminal Court issued a life sentence -- 20 years in jail as per the Egyptian law -- against three others in the same case, on charges of involvement in drug trafficking and smuggling narcotics to Abul-Qasim. The court acquitted three others.
The Egyptian prosecution shared with the Saudi authorities the documents on the case against the drug smugglers in Egypt who had sent a shipment of narcotic pills to the Egyptian engineer in Saudi Arabia.
The Egyptian authorities intensely lobbied their Saudi counterparts to commute the death penalty for Abul-Qasim.