Bahrain court postpones trial of 21 terror suspects

May 16, 2011

An artist's sketch of the trial - BNA

A Bahraini court on Monday postponed the high-profile trial of 21 terrorism suspects to May 22.

The National Safety Court of First Instance will use the session on Sunday to listen to prosecution witnesses after lawyers for the 14 defendants in custody said that they needed more time to examine the technical evidence presented by the prosecution.

However, the court, with one military and two civilian judges, said that it would respond to the lawyers’ request to move the defendants from solitary confinement.

The 14 defendants present at the court on Monday, including Ebrahim Shareef, the head of liberal society Waad and activist Abdul Hadi Al Khawaja, faced up to 12 charges, including incitement to topple the political regime.

A call by the lawyers to release them on bail during the investigation was rejected by the prosecutor who argued that the charges were too serious to allow them to go home regardless of the guarantees.

In their opening remarks, the lawyers disputed the merit of the court, saying that it had no competence to look into the case. Several activists were present at the trial and the judge allowed the defendants to meet their newly appointed lawyers and their relatives.

The defendants are charged with establishing and managing terror groups to topple the state royal regime and change its constitution; intelligence with an overseas terrorist organisation to commit hostile acts against Bahrain; attempting to forcefully and change Bahrain’s constitution and toppling its political regime; inciting for the toppling of the political regime; collecting funds and paying terror groups, with knowledge of their terrorist activities; possessing documents and publications inciting the overthrow of the political regime; insulting the army; public incitement of hatred and contempt of the regime; disseminating false information, rumours and malicious propaganda that would disrupt public order and harm public interest; inciting non-compliance with laws and promoting a matter that is considered a crime; and taking part in rallies without notifying the competent authorities.

The defendants in custody are Abdul Wahab Hussain Ali Ahmad, Ebrahim Sharif Abdul Raheem Mussa, Hassan Ali Mushaima, Abdul Hadi Abdullah Al Khawaja, Abdul Jalil Abdullah Al Singees, Mohammad Habib Al Saffaf, Saeed Mirza Ahmad, Abdul Jalil Radhi Makki, Abdul Hadi Abdullah Hassan, Al Hur Yusuf Al Somaikh, Abdullah Eisa Al Mahroos, Salah Abdullah Hubail, Mohammad Hassan Jawad and Mohammad Ali Ridha Ismail. The seven who are being tried in absentia are Sayyid Aqeel Ahmad Al Mahfoodh, Ali Hassan Abdul Imam, Abdul Ghani Eisa Ghanger, Saeed Abdulnabi Al Shehabi, Abdul Raoof Abdullah Al Shayeb, Abbas Nasser Omran and Ali Hassan Mushaima.



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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