(MENAFN - Arab News) The Riyadh criminal court held a hearing session on Saturday for the two Saudi activists accused of establishing an unauthorized human rights society called Hasm. The trial was open to the public, and was attended by 40 people, including reporters.
The defendants denied the charges against them, and renewed their allegiance to the King during the hearing session on Saturday. One of the defendants was quoted to have said, "The oath of allegiance to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah is binding on us."
The prosecutor charged the defendants with a number of accusations, including destroying public property and inciting people to rebel against the rulers, attempting to destabilize the Kingdom's security and integrity, and attempting to sow chaos in the country.
The charges also included insulting members of the Council of Senior Religious Scholars publicly by casting suspicion on their integrity and religiousness, and seeking the help of international organizations against the Kingdom.
The detainees were also charged for launching an establishment called Hasm for human rights, without the government's approval.
The public prosecutor said the defendants violated the Islamic principle of Al-Naseehah (advise) by making statements harmful to the interests of the country, while some Arab countries were in political turmoil.
They were also accused of appealing for outside help from organizations hostile to the Kingdom.
The public prosecutor also charged the defendants with offending the crime investigation department, by describing it as a militia. The defendants did not produce any evidence against the investigation department, regarding 30,000 people alleged to be in the prison cells of the investigation department. The judge also made it clear that none of the defendants will go to jail without a proper trial, Al-Madinah daily reported on Sunday. During the trial, one of the defendants requested the court to record his public responses and the judge responded that the defendant's request will be adhered to.
Furthermore, the court observed that no one is above the law, in response to the defendants' request to summon certain officials from the Interior Ministry. "Even King Abdul Aziz's sons were brought before the court of law, and no one has any legal immunity under the Saudi law," the judge told the defendants.
In response to the charge raised against one of the defendants, concerning his involvement in demonstrations, the defendant said he was only active in demonstrations for peaceful jihad.
The defendants also demanded the presence of unbiased media men at the trial, and questioned whether it was possible to have any an impartial representation from the official media.
The judge adjourned the hearing to the first day of the Hijri new year.