Judge Yousef bin Ghormallah al-Ghamdi, a former judge on the Saudi Specialized Criminal Court, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Al-Ghamdi was born on April 2, 1984. He graduated with a bachelor's from the Sharia college at Imam Muhammad bin Saud University and a master's from the Judicial High Institute, an institute that trains judges in Saudi Arabia.
He was a judge at the Specialized Criminal Court in Riyadh and Jeddah between 2014 and October 2017, when he was relieved of his judicial position. He is now an imam at al-Rahman Mosques in the north of Jeddah.
Al-Ghamdi was responsible for convicting human rights lawyer and reformer Waleed Abulkhair for his peaceful speech and advocacy, which are protected by international law, and for enforcing prima facie unjust laws that criminalize dissent.
After the judge assigned to Abulkhair's case asked to be relieved of his responsibility for issuing a judgment, al-Ghamdi stepped in and presided over the trial's fifth session, on April 15, 2014. At that session, al-Ghamdi issued a decision convicting Abulkhair and sentencing him to 15 years in al-Haer Prison. Al-Ghamdi did not inform his family or his lawyer, Ibrahim Almodaimigh, of the conviction.
In addition, he sentenced Abulkhair to a 15-year travel ban set to begin after his release, and he fined Abulkhair 200,000 Saudi riyals (approximately $53,000).
Al-Ghamdi offered to reduce Abulkhair's prison sentence to ten years, if he committed to stop his political activities, but Abulkhair refused.
See case: Waleed Abulkhair
DAWN contacted al-Ghamdi via the Saudi authorities on December 9, 2020 to request a response, but no response was received by the time of publication.