Embassies must defend Saudis detained abroad
Arab News – 27 July, 2008
Saudi diplomatic missions will appoint lawyers to defend Saudi citizens who
are arrested on any charges during their stay abroad and will pay bail for
them under new regulations approved by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques
King Abdullah, Al-Madinah newspaper reported yesterday.
The daily said starting next year, the budget of the Foreign Ministry would
include provisions under the title, “Expenses of catering to the judicial
requirements of Saudi citizens abroad.”
It said the amount of money required would be decided by the Foreign and
Finance ministries and the allocation would be used to pay the fees of
lawyers, bail and other costs until the citizen is released and sent home.
The Saudi missions will follow up with the legal entities in countries
concerned to make sure that the citizens receive a fair trial before they
are either acquitted or convicted, the new regulations stipulate.
According to these regulations, the citizen will pay back the money spent on
him abroad after returning to the Kingdom if he was arrested for negligence
or for deliberate mistakes. He will also have to pay any financial
settlements related to the alleged crime.
The diplomatic missions will send comprehensive reports about any such cases
to the Foreign Ministry. They will also continue to provide citizens with
legal counseling and help them choose qualified lawyers for civil contracts,
personal affairs and correspondence with foreign governments.
The Foreign Ministry is being requested to contract an experienced American
law firm with strong ties to other legal entities in order to assist with
legal cases involving Saudi citizens in the United States.