Saudi king dismisses 2 powerful religious figures

February 14, 2009 13:32

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has dismissed the head of the powerful religious police and a hard-line cleric who issued an edict last year that said it was permissible to kill the owners of satellite TV stations that show "immoral" content. The dismissals are part of a surprise reshuffle in the Cabinet, the judiciary and the military. The official Saudi Press Agency said Abdullah has ordered the removal of Sheikh Ibrahim al-Ghaith, head of the feared Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice. He also ordered the removal of Sheikh Saleh al-Lihedan, chief of the kingdom's highest tribunal, the Supreme Council of Justice. Al-Lihedan's edict, issued in September, was denounced across the Arab world.

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