Deputy FM: Saudis denied attorney for accused Iranians

Tehran, Nov 9, IRNA – Saudi Arabia denied an attorney for three Iranian nationals executed recently in the country, says Hassan Ghashghavi, Deputy Foreign Minister for Consular Affairs on Monday.

‘The foreign ministry has summoned the Saudi chargé d’affaires in Tehran to express Iran’s protest on the issue,’ Ghashghavi told reporters on the sidelines of the joint meeting of provincial governors and Iran ambassadors.

Referring to the case of three Iranian nationals charged with drug smuggling in 2011, Ghashghavi said that at the time the Saudis announced that they had captured a vessel carrying 500 kilograms of narcotics.

‘Despite consultations between Iran’s then ambassador to Riyadh with the Saudi Interior minister, they did not let us appoint an attorney for the Iranian nationals as they considered drug smuggling as a major crime,’ he said.

‘Six people arrested by the Saudi authorities were Pakistani nationals and five others were Iranians,’ he said, adding that of the five Iranians two were later acquitted while three Iranians were issued death verdicts.

The court verdict was upheld by the Saudi King and they were executed, he said.