At U.N., Saudi Arabia says 47 executed were granted fair trials

A Shi'ite Muslim man holds a picture of cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr during a protest against the execution of Nimr, who was executed along with others in Saudi Arabia, in front of Saudi Arabia embassy in New Delhi, India, January 4, 2016. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia defended its judicial process at the United Nations on Monday, saying that 47 people executed at the weekend had been granted “fair and just trials without any consideration to their intellectual, racial, or sectarian affiliation.”

The Saudi U.N. mission expressed “deep regret” that U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had raised concerns about the nature of the charges and fairness of the trials of those executed, which included a prominent Shi’ite Muslim cleric.

Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Chris Reese