First beheading under new Saudi king

First beheading under new Saudi king

Saudi Arabia has carried out its first execution under the rule of newly enthroned King Salman, with the beheading of a convicted serial rapist.

Moussa al-Zahrani, 45, had been found guilty of ‘luring underage girls, intoxicating them, forcing them to watch pornographic videos and then physically and sexually assaulting them’, an Interior Ministry statement said.

The beheading, which took place in Jeddah, has caused outrage on social media after al-Zahrani, an Arabic teacher, maintained his innocence, and claimed he had been framed by police.

Al-Zahrani, a father-of-six, was found guilty of assaulting young girls a string of attacks in Jeddah in 2011.

He maintained his innocence throughout the trial and two later appeals, and last year, al-Zahrani appealed in a 20-minute video for the late King Abdullah to intervene.

The video, which was spread on social media in Saudi Arabia, saw al-Zahrani claim that he was being framed by police and that one of his accusers, his neighbour of ten years was also a police investigator in the case.

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