Saudi king pardons jailed Islamist preacher: report

AFP , Tuesday 13 Nov 2012

Radical Islamist scholar Yusuf Al-Ahmad, who was jailed for incitement against the ruler and sowing sedition, has been pardoned by Saudi King Abdullah according to Al-Hayat newspaper

King Abdullah
Saudi King Abdullah addresses the nation from his office at the Royal Palace in Riyadh (Source: Reuters)

Saudi King Abdullah has pardoned a radical Islamist scholar jailed over incitment against the ruler and sowing sedition, Al-Hayat newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The monarch has "issued an order to release" Yusuf al-Ahmad, the brother of the preacher told the daily, citing the head of the royal court Khaled al-Tuwaijri.

In 2010, Ahmad issued a controversial fatwa in which he called for demolishing the Grand Mosque of Mecca to rebuild the massive structure in a way compliant with strict Saudi rule of segregation between sexes.

He was sentenced in April at a special court dealing with terror charges to five years in jail after being convicted of incitment against the ruler, sowing sedition, and harming national unity.

He was also convicted of publishing material that could harm security on the Internet.

Two Egyptians were sentenced in the same case to two years in jail.

Ahmad was arrested over a YouTube video in which he held the monarch, late interior minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz, the current minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, responsible for keeping Islamists behind bars without trials, a rights activist said at the time.

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