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Audio recording to be played at Ali Salman’s trial

Bahrain News
Tue, 20 Feb 2018


AN audio recording will be played at the next court hearing of jailed opposition leader Ali Salman.

The former secretary-general of the now dissolved opposition Al Wefaq National Islamic Society is on trial, along with two former MPs, at the High Criminal Court accused of sharing state secrets with Qatar, including information about GCC forces in Bahrain.

The case is connected to phone conversations dating back to 2011 between senior members of Al Wefaq – which was dissolved in 2016 for inciting terrorism and promoting a coup – and Qatari officials.

A phone conversation between Mr Salman and former Qatari prime minster Shaikh Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani which was previously aired on Bahrain TV, was shown in court at a previous hearing.

However, defence lawyers requested for the full phone conversation to be brought to court, which judges agreed but prosecutors did not bring to yesterday’s hearing.

Judges adjourned the trial until March 1 for the audio recording to be brought to court.

Lawyers yesterday were given copies of papers containing the testimony given by one of the witnesses, who is under a witness protection programme, to a judge in an undisclosed location.

Police investigations showed that Mr Salman ordered his co-defendants, former Al Wefaq MPs Hassan Ali Sultan and Ali Al Aswad, to conspire with Qatari and Hizbollah officials. Mr Salman is already serving a four-year jail sentence at Jaw Prison, after being convicted in 2014 of inciting others to break the law and spreading sectarianism.

Meanwhile, Mr Sultan and Mr Al Aswad once again failed to attend the hearing and are being tried in absentia. Police previously told the court that both men were living abroad.

All three defendants are accused of receiving money in exchange for revealing state and military secrets, as well as spreading false news.

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