First Beheading Occurs Under New Saudi King

On Monday, Saudi Arabia executed a man accused of raping several girls, in the first case of a beheading under the new King of Saudi Arabia, Salman.

The Interior Ministry said Moussa al-Zahrani was executed in the city of Jiddah. The ministry statement, carried by the official Saudi Press Agency, said al-Zahrani was convicted of luring underage girls, intoxicating them, forcing them to watch pornographic videos and then physically and sexually assaulting them.

Al-Zahrani claimed his innocence throughout the trial and during appeal, even creating a 20-minute video intended for King Abdullah claiming that he was framed: 

Last year, al-Zahrani appealed in a 20-minute video for Saudi King Abdullah, who died on Friday, to intervene. In the widely-viewed video, the 45-year-old Arabic teacher claimed he was framed by police and that a man — a neighbor of 10 years — who accused him of molesting his daughter was also a police investigator in the case.

Al Zahrani's relatives appeared on TV saying the case was "riddled with inconsistencies and that the judiciary did not weigh all the evidence.They claimed a medical report found the investigator's 10 year-old daughter had not been assaulted and that several cases of assault against young girls took place in Jiddah while al-Zahrani was already jailed."