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Omani Network Accused of Coup Plot

Omani authorities have resumed the trial of a clandestine organization which has allegedly been planning to topple the Omani regime for decades.

On Monday, the Omani State Security Court heard lawyers pleading innocence for some of the 31 suspected Islamist members of the organization in the Omani capital Muscat.

The lawyers said their clients wanted to promote the teachings of the Ibadi sect. Some defendants have expressed regret and have asked Sultan Qaboos Bin Sa’id to pardon them, AFP reported.

Reports say that according to the court, many of the suspects are government employees.

The suspects are accused of setting up an illegal organization aiming to overthrow the government by use of weapons and establishing an imamate in accordance with the teachings of their faith.

The accused were arrested in January and the trial began last week. At the time of the arrests unconfirmed reports said the group was planning attacks during a festival and on commercial centers and oil installations.

Reports deny any connection of the unnamed group with the international terror network Al-Qa’ida.

The prosecution says the alleged organization was formed as early as 1982.

Oman, located southeast of Saudi Arabia, has a population of less than three million people, most of whom adhere to the Ibadi faith, a branch of Islam.