Re-trial of 13 suspected Bahrainis postponed

May 26, 2012

A Bahraini court has postponed to May 29 the re-trial of 13 people charged with plotting to topple the regime.

The Court of Appeals listened to testimonies and will receive the other statements next week.

On May 8, the court insisted that Abdul Hadi Al Khawaja and Mirza Al Mahroos, who were in hospital, would have to be present at the trial when the hearings would be held on May 22.

The court said that the two defendants would be given full medical care for and during their appearance at the court.

The re-trial by the Supreme Court was decided by the Court of Cassation in the high-profile case against 21 defendants, of whom seven are being tried in absentia.

The Court of Cassation on April 30 allowed Al Horr Al Sameekh to go home after his prison term decided by the courts of national safety was reduced from two years to six months.

The 13 defendants held in prison and the seven others being tried in absentia received last year terms ranging between two years and life in prison by the National Safety Court of First Instance.

They were convicted on charges of establishing and managing terror groups to change the state royal regime by force and to change the constitution, communicating intelligence with an overseas terrorist organisation to commit hostile acts against Bahrain as well as a number of other charges.

The National Safety Court of First Instance in June sentenced to life in prison Abdul Wahab Hussain Ali Ahmad, Hassan Ali Mushaima, Abdul Hadi Abdullah Al Khawaja, Abdul Jalil Abdullah Al Singace, Mohammad Habib Al Saffaf (Al Miqdad), Saeed Mirza Ahmad, Abdul Jalil Radhi Makki and the London-based Saeed Abdulnabi Al Shehabi who was tried in absentia.

The court also sentenced ten defendants to 15 years in prison. Two defendants were sentenced to serve five years in jail, while one defendant was sentenced to two years in jail.

The verdict was challenged by the lawyers, but the National Safety Court of Appeal in September confirmed the convictions and upheld the sentences.

The case gained international attention after Al Khawaja, who also has the Danish nationality, started a hunger strike in February and he was subsequently transferred from prison to a public security clinic then to the military hospital, prompting the Danish foreign ministry to press for his transfer.



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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