Saudi Arabia Jails 'Israeli Spy'

Jordanian national sentenced to nine years in prison over charges he spied for Israel.

Ari Soffer,

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah with US Presiden
Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah with US Presiden

A Saudi Arabian court has sentenced a Jordanian national to nine years in prison for spying for Israel.

State-backed media outlet Al Riyadh Online reported that the man - who was also sentenced to 80 lashes by the country's Specialized Criminal Court - confessed to having spied for the Jewish state, having emailed Israeli intelligence agents and received payment in return for his services.

Despite his apparent confession, the Saudi news network cited the unnamed defendant's legal team as saying they planned to appeal the sentence, on the grounds that he was under the influence of drugs and not in a sound state of mind at the time.

Israel and Saudi Arabia do not have official diplomatic relations.

The sentence comes just over a week after a recent report by Amnesty International criticized the Gulf Kingdom's human rights record, and singled out its judicial system for "summary trials and 'confessions' extracted under torture."