RIYADH — Lawyers defending the 32 people suspected of spying for Iran have remained absent from the Criminal Court here since the start of its proceedings early last month.
The suspects, with the exception of the Iranian who said he would defend himself alone, have appointed three lawyers to defend them in court.
According to the court sources, the lawyers have earlier defended several terror suspects and are quite aware of the court procedures.
The sources said the lawyers made a number of demands through some suspects including providing them with car parking slots near the court, not to be frisked and letting them in with their mobile phones.
The judge has refused all these demands and said they were not within its power. He asked the lawyers, instead, to convey their demands to the president of the court.
The judge warned the defendants that they would lose the opportunity to defend themselves and provide the court with their replies to the charges against them if their lawyers continued to be absent from court proceedings.
He said the court would continue its procedures as usual if the defendants fail to present their defenses.
The ninth defendant appeared before the court on Monday and told the judge that he did not prepare his replies because he could not meet with his lawyer.
His brother, who represented him in the court, said when he was finally able to meet with the lawyer, he did not talk to him about his replies to the charges.
“The lawyer only gave me a paper containing their demands to present to the judge,” he said.
The judge asked the defendant to meet with his brother after the court session to prepare his replies. He gave him a month to come to the court with his replies.
The 10th defendant, who was scheduled to appear before the court on Monday, did not show up.