Saudi Arabia on Tuesday (18 October) executed a prince for shooting a man dead during a brawl three years ago, Saudi's interior ministry said in a statement. The ministry further said that the prince had pleaded guilty to shooting his compatriot.

A Saudi state news service report said Prince Turki bin Saud al-Kabir was put to death in the capital Riyadh but the report did not mention the method of execution used. Generally, most death penalties in the Islamic kingdom are carried out by beheading in a public square.

According to a New York Times report, executions of royal family members are rare and this is the first in four decades. The last prominent case of a royal family member's execution was that of Faisal bin Musaid al-Saud, who assassinated his uncle, King Fasial, in 1975.

A list made by AFP news agency says that the prince is the 134th individual to be executed this year. The Interior ministry said that it would ensure to everyone that the government was "keen to keep order, stabilize security and bring about justice through implementing the rules prescribed by Allah".

saudi arabia executions
Prince Turki bin Saud al-Kabir was put to death in the capital Riyadh. Generally, most death penalties in the Islamic kingdom are carried out by beheading in a public square. [Representational image]Reuters

The victim's family denied offers of 'blood money' and demanded justice instead. On social media, some Saudis said that they never imagined such a thing would happen while others said it indicated the quality of their justice system.

A prominent Saudi lawyer tweeted: "The greatest thing is that the citizen sees the law applied to everyone, and that there are not big people and other small people."

The number of Saudi royal family members is estimated to be in the thousands. While they receive a monthly stipend, not all of them hold important government posts.