The Crown Prince has been trying to raise his international profile with massive building projects and diplomatic deals. He thinks that this will be helped by jailing or executing those who disagree with him. So far, since he has a lot of money and people need his oil, foreign countries have found him charming.
Mohammed bin Nasser al-Ghamdi was changed with "betraying his religion," "disturbing the security of society," "conspiring against the government," and "impugning the kingdom and the crown prince", and apparently he did all that online.
Some of this online activity involved re-sharing critics' posts.
Al-Ghamdi is a retired schoolteacher living in the city of Mecca and, until the court case, was not that famous for his online protesting. However, his brother, Saeed bin Nasser al-Ghamdi, is a well-known critic of the Saudi government living in the United Kingdom, where he is safe from the Crown Prince's charm.
"This false ruling aims to spite me personally after failed attempts by the investigators to have me return to the country," the brother tweeted last Thursday.
Saudi Arabia has used arrests of family members to pressure those abroad into returning home where he can be charming to them appropriately.
Saudi Arabia is big on executions, having executed 196 people last year. In one day alone last March, the kingdom executed 81 people, the largest known mass execution in modern history.