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New date set for terror trial

Bahrain News
Sat, 15 Sep 2018
By Noor Zahra

TEN men sentenced to life in prison for being part of a major terrorist group were not brought into court for an appeals hearing due to a new rule stating that only assigned policemen can accompany defendants.

They were among 115 people sentenced to various terms in prison by the High Criminal Court in May.

Eighty-six of the defendants had lodged appeals against their convictions at the Supreme Criminal Appeals Court.

However, only 20 of the defendants appeared in court while 10 had to wait in a police bus and could not make it to their hearing.

According to the new rule, only specific policemen can accompany the defendants depending on which police station they come from.

However, sometimes the assigned policeman is not available or is busy and the defendant ends up waiting in the police bus without being brought into the court.


Defence lawyers requested that the defendants to be brought into the court for the next hearing, which judges scheduled for October 3.

“Your honour, we have several cases where our clients end up waiting in the buses and never make it to the court hearing,” lawyer Balqees Al Manami told a leading judge.

“We request our clients be brought to the hearings in important cases and not be left in the buses.”

The GDN earlier reported of several high-profile cases where the defendants were not brought into the courtroom and had to wait in the police buses for their assigned policemen to accompany them to the hearings.

In the current case, 138 people had been charged with belonging to the Dhu Al Faqqar Brigades group, but 23 of the defendants were acquitted due to lack of evidence.

The group was blamed for 19 attacks in which several policemen were injured between the end of 2012 and late 2015.

These included attacks in Muharraq, Juffair, Sitra, Sehla, Adliya, Hamad Town, West Eker, Daih and Seef District.

Three of the defendants were described as leaders of the cell who allegedly received support from Iranian leaders and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Those three were tried in absentia and were found guilty of forming and managing a terrorist cell, recruiting members, providing weapons training, ordering attacks on police and directing rioting and acts of sabotage.

Other defendants, aged between 16 and 55, were charged with carrying out bombings, attempting to kill policemen, placing hoax bombs in key areas, possessing Molotov cocktails, possessing and making explosives, possessing weapons and ammunition, arson, damaging public property and vehicles and taking part in illegal gatherings.


Almost a third were accused of receiving weapons and explosives training from the IRGC in Iran, as well as Hizbollah operatives in Iraq.

The group smuggled explosives into the country and stashed them in secret rooms in homes located in residential areas.

Fifty-three defendants were sentenced to life, three to 15 years in jail, one to 10 years, 15 to seven years, 37 to five years and six to three years.

Eighty-six of the defendants had lodged appeals against their convictions at the Supreme Criminal Appeals Court.

A policeman previously testified in court that one of the defendants, a weapons smuggler, was driving around with guns and explosives when he was arrested outside a Bahrain restaurant.

The 33-year-old had two pistols, two shotguns, explosive materials, ammunition and detonators in his vehicle when he was detained in Sanabis in December 2015.

He is said to have previously admitted the charges to prosecutors, explaining he was initially a member of the February 14 Coalition terrorist outfit, but later travelled to Iraq and also joined the outlawed Al Wafa Islamic Movement.

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