Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Bahrain Delays Trial over Qatar-Linked Foreign Intelligence Espionage Case

Bahrain Delays Trial over Qatar-Linked Foreign Intelligence Espionage Case

Friday, 9 March, 2018 - 10:30
Bahrain's captial Manama. (AFP)

Bahrain’s High Criminal Court on Thursday postponed to March 22 the trial of al-Wefaq party Secretary General Ali Salman, Hassan Ali Juma Sultan and Ali Mahdi Ali Al Aswad, who are accused of spying for Qatar.

The trial was adjourned to allow defense to gather evidence.

Salman is being tried in person, while the other two defendants in absentia.

The court heard the testimony of the public prosecutor in which he said that the accused violated the noblest values and most sacred principles by targeting the nation.

“No act is more despicable than selling out the nation for the sake of a fake leadership,” the Public Prosecution said.

Advocate General Ousama Al-Oufi explained that the supreme criminal court has completed the cases for all three accused, who were referred by the Public Prosecution to the court for committing the crimes of communicating with a foreign country, Qatar.

The accused are charged with spying for a foreign country to carry out hostile acts in Bahrain that would undermine its political and economic status and harm its national interests in order to topple the regime.

According to the state-owned Bahrain News Agency (BNA), other charges included divulging defense secrets to a foreign country, accepting money from a foreign country in return for providing it with military secrets and details on the internal situation and disseminating erroneous and false information and allegations abroad in order to weaken financial trust in the Kingdom and undermine its prestige.

In its statement, the Public Prosecution reviewed all the evidence against the accused and which consisted of witness testimonies, recorded conversations between the accused and officials in Qatar, security reports that confirmed the secret details provided by those accused to Qatar and records of statements by the accused to Al-Jazeera, Doha’s propagandist television channel.

Public Prosecution insisted all the evidence was solid and fully supported the charges condemning those accused.

Al-Jazeera is not only viewed as a propaganda trumpet inciting acts of sedition, but also as the main guide to saboteurs, disseminating calls for riots and providing information about venues and timings for acts of sabotage and arson.

The channel also provided information about the movements of the security forces to be targeted and broadcast inciting allegations and seditious rumors.

The Public Prosecution stressed that the schemes by Al-Jazeera could not have been carried out without inside traitors.

Editor Picks