Egyptian lawyer and friend sentenced to prison, lashings in Saudi Arabia for smuggling drugs

Egypt's state news agency says an Egyptian human rights lawyer has been convicted by a Saudi court for smuggling drugs into the kingdom and sentenced to five years in prison and 300 lashes.

The case of Ahmed el-Gezawi caused an outcry in Egypt where rights groups claimed he was initially detained in April 2012 for criticizing the kingdom's monarch. They claimed he confessed to the smuggling charges under duress.

The incident caused brief diplomatic tension between Saudi Arabia and Egypt after protesters called for the expulsion of the Saudi ambassador.

The agency says the Saudi court on Tuesday also convicted another Egyptian, who traveled to the kingdom with el-Gezawi, to six years and 400 lashes.

The Egyptian consulate in Jiddah is appealing the verdict.