Bahrain announced on Sunday that its Military Judiciary has completed its investigations in a case against members of a terrorist cell who were planning to commit several crimes against the Bahrain Defense Force (BDF).
The announcement is considered the first of its kind since the passing of constitutional amendments that touched the Military Judicial law.
On April 3, 2017, Bahrain’s king Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa approved a constitutional amendment, already ratified by both the upper and lower houses of the country’s parliament, to allow military courts try civilians accused of threatening the security of the state.
Before the amendment, the 2002 constitution barred military courts from hearing cases against civilians.
Head of the Military Judiciary Brigadier Yusuf Rashid Flaifel said on Sunday that after gathering information, research, investigation and monitoring, the Bahrain forces’ anti-terrorism security agencies in a preemptive step have arrested members of a terrorist cell who committed several crimes against the BDF.
Flaifel said that the case was referred to the High Military Court to decide the date for suspects' trial after the Military Prosecution completed its investigations.
The amendment of the Military Judicial Law 2002 stipulates that the "Military Judiciary of the BDF has jurisdiction to look into any of the crimes committed by BDF personnel or inflicted upon BDF funds and properties, crimes affecting the State’s internal or external security, or the crimes stipulated in the Law for Protection of the Society against Terrorist Crimes, and other terrorism-connected crimes,” the official Bahrain news agency said on Sunday.
The suspects will now be granted all applicable legal sureties according to the provisions of the law.
When the amendment of the constitution was approved by the lower house of Bahrain’s National Assembly early this year, Flaifel told lawmakers the change is needed as the nation is "fighting terrorism."