Court reverses “innocent” ruling and sentences 19 Bahrainis to three years

March 28, 2010

The Court of Appeals has reversed an earlier ruling that acquitted 19 Bahrainis of murder charges.

In a new verdict on Sunday, the court sentenced the accused to three years in prison, a ruling that is bound to cause a stir in Bahrain.

The accused were initially charged with killing Majid Asghar Ali Baksh, a 24-year-old Pakistani policeman in an ambush at the entrance of Karzakan, a village on the western coast of Bahrain.

Prosecutors argued that the police car had been hit with Molotov cocktails and stones in April 2008. However, the suspects denied the charges and their lawyers contested the evidence.

Following a long trial, a ruling by the High Criminal Court on October 13 allowed the accused to go free after the judge said that there was not enough evidence to incriminate them.

His decision, which sparked wild scenes of jubilation in the home villages of the accused, was however challenged in November by the public prosecutor who said that they should be re-sentenced on the grounds that the court had not understood the circumstances of the case and that its decision was built on “assumed premises that clashed with the reality on the ground and the relevant reports.

The prosecutor said the court’s acquittal was based on “weak evidence” and issued a statement calling for “justice to prevail.”
In February, the prosecutor called for the strict application of the laws, a sentencing that could lead to the death penalty.

A move to pay the Asghar’s family blood money to settle the case out of court has been invariably rejected.








About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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