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Second autopsy plea in policeman's arson attack death

Bahrain News
Wed, 06 Dec 2017
By Noor Zahra

A LAWYER has requested that a policeman’s corpse be dug up for a second autopsy following doubts over the cause of his death.

Father-of-two Mohammed Naveed died when he was trapped in a burning vehicle following an arson attack on a police patrol car in Karbabad village on April 16 last year.

He suffered sixth-degree burns; firemen found his charred body when they broke into the car a few minutes after the attack.

Two other officers suffered serious injuries.

In June this year, 12 people were found guilty by the High Criminal Court.

Two of the convicts – Alsayed Ahmed Al Abar and Hussain Ali Mahdi, both aged 23 – were sentenced to death.

They appealed against their convictions at the Supreme Criminal Appeals Court.

However, defence lawyer Israa Al Shamaa, representing Mr Al Abar, requested the victim’s body be dug up 18 months after the burial to be re-examined, claiming that the autopsy was not done “properly”.

“Your honour, how do we know that he was not already dead before the medical examiner said he died after being burnt?” she asked a leading judge.

“The medical examiner only checked the victim’s body from outside but did not examine his internal organs, though they were not affected.

“He also said that the victim’s face was deformed and he could not make out his identity and relied on details provided to him by the Interior Ministry.

“However, he should have cross-checked the victim’s DNA with his family members.

“Therefore, I request for the corpse to be dug up and the autopsy carried out again.”

However, leading judge Ebrahim Al Zayed said the request was “baseless”.

“You want me to order the victim’s body dug up months after he was buried and to have a medical examiner carry out a second autopsy, for no reason?” he asked.

“This is a baseless request and the medical examiner has already carried out the autopsy and stated that the officer died from burn injuries.”

Defence lawyer Mariam Ashoor, representing Mr Mahdi, claimed the victim died after the police vehicle crashed into a public transportation bus following the attack.

“Your honour, witnesses testified the victim died after the police vehicle crashed into a public transportation bus,” she said.

“This occurred after people, whose identities were not clear in the video footage, doused his vehicle with petrol and hurled a Molotov cocktail at it.

“The crash caused the air-bags to trap the victim in the police vehicle.

“However, the defendants did not intend to kill policemen; they only wanted to damage public property.

“In addition, my client confessed to the charges under duress.”

The trial was adjourned until January 4 for an appeal ruling.

Of the 12 defendants found guilty, three were sentenced to life in prison, three jailed for 10 years each, one received seven years behind bars, one five years and two were handed jail terms of three years each.

Nine of the defendants had their citizenship revoked and seven were ordered to pay a combined fine of BD28,716 being the cost of damages caused to the vehicle.

Three of the defendants received reduced sentences as they were under the age of 18.

They were all also found guilty of setting up and being part of a terror group that targeted the country’s unity and stability.

A 13th defendant was found not guilty as he did not “know about the crime” despite possessing the killers’ mobile phones.

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