King Salman pardons 76 Egyptian prisoners
Saudi King Salman - REUTERS

CAIRO:  A total of 76 Egyptian prisoners in Saudi Arabia have been pardoned by Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz on the occasion of assuming power, according to a Thursday Egyptian Foreign Ministry statement.

The Egyptian Consulate in Saudi Arabia is finishing procedures to release the pardoned prisoners, who would be deported home, Amr Moawad, an assistant to the foreign minister, said in the statement.

It was not reported if the Egyptian lawyer Ahmed al-Gizawi, jailed in Saudi Arabia since 2012, is among the pardoned inmates.  He is being retried over possessing drugs by a Saudi court, as he was sentenced to five years in prison and 300 lashes in January 2013.

Gizawi’s siblings and Foreign Ministry spokesperson Badr Abdel Atty were not available for confirmation.

Salman, 79, assumed power in January after the death of late King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz. President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi paid Riyadh a visit in May following the royal shakeup.

The new king issued Thursday a decree appointing his nephew Prince Muhammad bin Nayef as the Kingdom’s crown prince and Interior Minister, and his son Prince Muhammad bin Salman as the crown prince deputy.

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