World, Middle East

Saudi police find missing judge's body in E. Province

Judge was abducted one year ago in Eastern Province's Shia-majority Qatif district

Mahmoud Barakat   | 25.12.2017
Saudi police find missing judge's body in E. Province FILE PHOTO

Suudi Arabistan

By Ahmed al-Masri

DOHA, Qatar

A police officer and a criminal suspect were killed in a gunfight -- while the body of a missing judge was found -- near the city of Qatif in Saudi Arabia’s restive Eastern Province, the Saudi Interior Ministry said Monday.

The official Saudi Press Agency quoted ministry spokesman Mansour al-Turki as saying that the Saudi authorities had received information that Mohammed bin Abdullah al-Jirani, a Shia judge abducted by unknown perpetrators one year ago, had been killed by his captors.

According to the same information, al-Jirani’s body had been disposed of in a remote agricultural area near Qatif, al-Turki said.

Subsequent investigations, the spokesman added, had revealed the involvement of two Saudi citizens -- Zaki Mohammed Salman al-Faraj and half-brother Salman bin Ali Salman al-Faraj -- in al-Jirani’s disappearance and murder.

According to al-Turki, Salman had been wanted by police since 2012 for earlier suspected criminal activity.

The spokesman went on to say that a recent security operation carried out in Qatif had led to Zaki’s arrest, while Salman had been killed in a gunfight with police in which Khalid al-Samati, a police sergeant, was also killed.

Late last year, al-Jirani, a Shia cleric and judge, was abducted from outside his home in the town of Tarout in Eastern Province’s Shia-majority Qatif region.

In January, the Interior Ministry had announced the arrest of three individuals suspected of involvement in al-Jirani’s abduction and identified three others, including the two half-brothers.

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