Manama: Qatar's Emir Shaikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani has pardoned an undisclosed number of people accused of plotting a coup in 1996, the Qatari News Agency (QNA) reported on Tuesday evening.

“His Highness the Emir has pardoned a number of people who were held in connection with the failed coup to undermine security and stability in Qatar,” QNA said, without giving their names or number.

The pardoned have left the country with Prince Mutib Bin Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, Saudi Deputy Commander of the National Guard for Executive Affairs, the news agency said, quoting a statement from the foreign ministry.

Shaikh Hamad's pardon decision was in response to a wish from Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, QNA said.

Dozens of people, mostly former military and police officers, had been tried on charges ranging from conspiracy to treason and armed rebellion in the foiled February 1996 coup. More than 30 were imprisoned for life for their role.