According to a top secret memo signed by Abdullah bin Ali al-Rmezan in 2012,* the Saudi Kingdom sent 1239 deathrow inmates who were sentenced in court to death by sword, to Syria to fight as Jihadists among different groups to fight against the Syrian government. The inmates faced the death penalty for rape, murder or drug smuggling. The Saudi Kingdom offered the deathrow inmates a pardon and a monthly fee for their families.
Besides Saudis, the prisoners have different nationalities like Afghans, Iraqis, Egyptians, Jordanians, Kuwaitis, Pakistanis, Palestinians, Syrians, Yemenis, Somalis and Sudanese. *All were offered a pardon for their crimes in exchange to fight in Syria as Jihadists against the Syrian government. The Russians threatened to involve the United Nations in this issue if the Saudi government would continue in undermining Bashar al Assad. The Saudi government agreed to stop their activities to undermine Bahar al Assad and in finding a political solution for the crisis in Syria in exchange to not bring this issue to the public.
The memo was signed on April 17th, 2012.*When also*a number of*deathrow inmates confessed to the existing of the program, the Saudi Kingdom still denied about the existing of this kind of program.

Source:
http://www.aina.org/news/20130120160624.htm