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Suspects on trial for sheltering Jaw jailbreak fugitives deny charge

Bahrain News
Thu, 09 Nov 2017
By Noor Zahra

A MAN accused of sheltering several terror suspects who escaped from Bahrain’s main prison has claimed he was abroad at the time of the incident.

The Bahraini is among 10 men, aged from 20 to 40, standing trial at the High Criminal Court for harbouring five fugitives who were each sentenced to life in prison for terror-related crimes.

The 10 men allegedly hid the fugitives in their homes and plotted their escape to Iran by sea.

The fugitives were among convicted terrorists who escaped after an armed attack on Jaw Prison on January 1.

One of the defendants claimed he had been “in and out” of the country during the jailbreak and could not have harboured the fugitives.

“I was travelling every month for up to 10 days a month since January,” the 32-year-old told a judge.

“How can I shelter fugitives and be out of the country? It does not make sense.”

Another defendant claimed he could not have sheltered the fugitives as he was living with his wife and children.

“How can I possibly allow fugitives to stay with me?” he told judges.

“I will not bring strangers into my house when my wife is there.”

A 24-year-old defendant said he lived with his parents, and cannot shelter fugitives.

“You can ask my parents if they saw any fugitives.”

The trial was adjourned to November 13 for submission of defence papers.

Three fugitives were killed in a shootout on February 9.

Seven others were arrested when an attempt to escape the country by boat was foiled; security sources said they were heading for Iran.

Those killed were Redha Al Ghasra, who had convictions for attempted murder, terrorism, possessing and detonating explosives and possessing unlicensed weapons, Mahmood Yousif Habib Hassan and Mustafa Yousif Ali.

Two of the seven arrested were critically injured in the shootout.