Conspiracy to Overthrow the Government, Espionage and Violation of the Constitution

The Secretary General of the Supreme Judicial Council announced today that the High Court of Appeals ruled today, Tuesday, 4 September 2012 against the defendants in the case of “conspiracy to overthrow the government, espionage and violation of the Constitution”.

Sentences were issued against thirteen (13) defendants present. Seven (7) other defendants are wanted fugitives subject to previous sentences; they are still at large.

The Court based its rulings on evidence and the verbal and written arguments of the Public Prosecution and defense attorneys.

The sentences are as follows:

Name

1- Abdulwahab Hussein Ahmed – life sentence upheld for the charges of: violation of the Constitution, conspiring to overthrow the government, and espionage.

2- Hassan Ali Hassan Mushaime – life sentence upheld for the charges of: violation of the Constitution, participation in a conspiracy to overthrow the government, and espionage.

3- Mohamed Habeeb Al Saffaf (alias “Almoqdad”) – life sentence upheld for violation of the Constitution, and conspiring to overthrow the government. Found not guilty of the charge of espionage.

4- Ibrahim Shareef Abdulrahim Moussa – Sentence to a prison term of five (5) years upheld for the charges of: violation of the Constitution, and conspiring to overthrow the government.

5- Abduljaleel Radhi Mansour – life sentence upheld for violation of the Constitution, conspiring to overthrow the government, espionage, and other charges.

6- Abduljaleel Abdullah Yousef Al Singace – life sentence upheld for violation of the Constitution, conspiring to overthrow the government, espionage, and other charges.

7- Said Mirza Ahmad (alias Al-Nouri) – life sentence upheld for violation of the Constitution, conspiring to overthrow the government, espionage, and other charges.

8- Abdulhadi Abdullah Mahdi Al Mokhawdhar: Sentence to a prison term of fifteen (15) years upheld for the charges of: violation of the Constitution, and conspiring to overthrow the government.

9- Abdullah Isa Al Mahrous – Sentence to a prison term of fifteen (15) years upheld for the charges of: violation of the Constitution, and conspiring to overthrow the government. Found not guilty of the charge of espionage.

10- Abdulhadi Abdullah Hobail Al Khawaja – life sentence upheld for violation of the Constitution, conspiring to overthrow the government, espionage, and other charges.

11- Salah Abdullah Hobail Al Khawaja – Sentence to a prison term of five (5) years upheld for the charges of: violation of the Constitution, and conspiring to overthrow the government. Found not guilty of the charge of incitement to overthrow the government.

12- Mohamed Hassan Mohamed Jawad – Sentence to a prison term of fifteen (15) years upheld for the charges of: violation of the Constitution. Found not guilty of the charge of conspiring to overthrow the government.

13- Mohamed Ali Radhi Ismail – Sentence to a prison term of fifteen (15) years upheld for the charges of: violation of the Constitution, and conspiring to overthrow the government.

The Secretary General of the Supreme Judicial Council pointed out that in light of the follow- up of the Secretariat General of this case and the ruling of the High Criminal Court of Appeals, the following should be pointed out:

I) The High Criminal Court of Appeals reviewed the case – for the second time – after the sentence of the National Safety Appeals Court was overturned by the Supreme Court. The trial started in this Court with the hearing of 8.5.2012, in sixteen hearings over a period of approximately four months, in accordance with the provisions of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights that requires the court proceedings to be completed within a reasonable time period, without any unjustified delay. The case documents include reports on all evidence and investigations, in its two levels, and the defense pleadings filed by all of the defendants, as well as appeals, which exceed in total several thousand pages. These had to be read and scrutinized over long hours and many days, in addition to the logs and records included in the case file.

II) In accordance with the principle which provides that the defendant shall be tried in person or represented by an attorney, the Court heard the statements of all of the defendants themselves, upon the request of each defendant personally, and as requested by their defense attorneys. All the defendants made defense statements. Each of the defendants spoke in five hearings, by reading written pleadings, the total number of pages of which reached approximately 300.

III) Some of the defendants, upon giving their personal defense statements, decided not to attend subsequent hearings. Some of them requested that their defense attorneys not to be allowed to represent them. As from the hearing of 7.7.2012, all of the defendants refused to attend court hearings, although it was sufficiently emphasized to them in writing that they must attend every hearing. In order to ensure proper legal proceedings, and particularly because the case involves conspiracy to overthrow the government and espionage, jeopardizing national security, the Court decided in its hearing of 14.7.2012 that all subsequent hearing shall be closed, and to enforce a ban on media publication, as stipulated in Article 214 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, and Article 214 of the International Convention.

IV) Whereas the defense attorneys withdrew upon the requests of the defendants, the Court wrote to the Ministry of Justice to appoint defense attorneys. A number of attorneys were subsequently appointed. The Court allowed the appointed attorneys to communicate with the defendants and meet with them in the jail cells. This is in compliance with the provisions of Article 14 (3) (d) of the International Convention that stipulates that the defendant must be present and shall defend himself in person or through an attorney of his choice, or an attorney is appointed by the Court to defend and give him free legal assistance.

V) In accordance with Article 14 (3) of the International Convention, the Court was keen to call on witnesses to cross examine them and to listen to alleged voice recordings of the defendants, in the presence of the defendants. However, they refused to attend.

Finally, and in accordance with Bahrain’s Code of Criminal Procedure, the defendants are fully entitled to appeal their sentences to the Supreme Court.



Categories: Bahrain, Politics

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