New york - A young man from Saudi Arabia's minority Shi'ite Muslim community who was arrested at the age of 13 will not be executed and could be released by 2022, a Saudi official told Reuters on Saturday following reports of his pending execution.
Murtaja Qureiris, who was detained in September 2014, has received an initial 12-year prison sentence with time served since his arrest and four years suspended for his young age, according to the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The sentence is subject to appeal.
"He will not be executed," the official added.
Rights groups including Amnesty International reported this month that the Saudi public prosecutor had sought the death penalty for Qureiris for a series of offences, some of which they said date back to when he was 10 years old.
The Saudi official said Qureiris had manufactured and used Molotov cocktails in a series of attacks against police and a pharmacy in which he also used firearms, after being recruited by a terrorist cell.
The official said another attack in which Qureiris participated had targeted a German diplomatic vehicle in Qatif region in January 2014. Nobody was hurt in that incident but the car caught fire.