- Life Style
Ahmed al-Gizawy, the Egyptian lawyer detained in Saudi Arabia, attended his trial Wednesday with his hands and feet shackled and denied charges that he attempted to smuggle 21,000 tablets of the anti-anxiety drug Xanax into the country.
“The prosecution says I was arrested at 5:30 AM whereas I was arrested at 1:30 PM on my way out of the airport,” Gizawy said, requesting a representative of the Egyptian consulate in Jeddah to attend the trial.
“I do not blame the Saudi authorities. I do blame the media that made of me an enemy of the Saudi people,” he said.
The prosecutor showed Gizawy a picture of himself sitting in front of a group of milk cans that the prosecution claims was taken upon Gizawy’s arrival to the airport. Gizawy countered that it was forcibly taken seven days after his arrest.
The session was adjourned to 26 September.
The prosecution had requested the death penalty in the first hearing of the trial on 18 July.
Gizawy’s arrest had sparked angry protests outside the Saudi embassy in Cairo in April, leading Riyadh to recall its ambassador, who returned to Cairo a week later after a high-level Egyptian delegation visited Riyadh to assure the Saudi authorities of Egypt's commitment to the good relations.
Saudi Arabia is a major aid donor to Egypt, and closely coordinated with Egypt and the United States on policies during Mubarak's rule that lasted 30 years.
International human rights groups often say Saudi trials are conducted unfairly, a charge denied by Riyadh.
The Saudi judiciary usually gives the death sentence for murder, rape and drug trafficking convictions. Convicts are beheaded in a public square.