TWO men will go on trial next week in connection with the brutal murder of a Bahraini imam in a mosque in Muharraq last month, it has been announced.
The Public Prosecution said in a statement yesterday that it had completed its investigations into the killing.
Two of the seven men involved in the incident will stand trial on Tuesday in the High Criminal Court.
The main suspect, a 39-year-old Bangladeshi muezzin, has already confessed to hacking to death Shaikh Abduljalil Hmood inside Bin Shiddah Mosque on August 4 and trying to dump body parts in a scrapyard in Askar.
The alleged killer, charged with premeditated murder, also recounted how he viciously beat the imam with an iron rod after morning prayers until he died inside the mosque in Muharraq, where they both worked.
He said he then concealed the body inside the toilet and went to a nearby store to purchase a big knife and two plastic bags – adding that upon his return he dismembered the imam’s body and placed the body parts in the plastic bags.
The second suspect is facing charges of helping the muezzin dispose of the body and failing to report the crime.
“The prosecution questioned the first defendant who admitted to the incident, detailing that he intended to kill the victim in retaliation for repeated complaints to the Endowments Directorate,” said Terror Crime Public Attorney Ahmed Al Hamadi in the statement yesterday.
“The directorate decided to terminate his work and the mandate period to settle his situation or return to his country,” he said.
The Public Prosecution had also remanded his wife in custody, after charging her with covering up her husband’s crime and failing to report him to the police after he informed her about the chilling murder.
She is being held, along with her two children, at the women’s detention centre in Isa Town.
The wife, Dalia Siddique Akhi, told the GDN in an exclusive interview last month that her husband had been arguing with Shaikh Hmood since August last year.
She said the tension was sparked by the muezzin’s activities outside work hours.
The Bangladesh Embassy confirmed the muezzin had been blacklisted by diplomats for running an illegal visa racket.
Other suspects who are in police custody pending investigations are accused of helping the main suspect in carrying the body and hiding the tools he had used to perpetrate the crime.
The 41-year-old Bahraini imam of Yemeni origin is survived by his wife Adeeba Hassan, 39 years, and 10 children – three sons and seven daughters.
The brutal slaughter of the imam was condemned by muezzins and imams in Bahrain, with Bangladeshi Ambassador to Bahrain Major General (Rtd) K M Mominur Rahman calling for “exemplary punishment” for the killer.
The crime also prompted authorities to embark on an initiative to replace foreign prayer callers, imams and mosque caretakers with Bahrainis.
However, a senior official at the Sunni Endowments Directorate later reassured expatriates holding religious positions that they would not be fired overnight, describing the Bahrainisation effort as a long-term process.