Opposition Leader’s Appeal Hearing: Sheikh Ali Refrained from Speaking Amid Strict Security Measures
2016-11-08 - 1:22 am
Bahrain Mirror: Local Bahraini newspaper al-Wasat said that detained Bahraini opposition leader, Secretary General of al-Wefaq Society, Sheikh Ali Salman, refrained from speaking during his appeal hearing held (Sunday November 6, 2016), despite being given the permission to do so by the judge.
The newspaper added that Sheikh Salman, who attended the hearing wearing the prison uniform, was surrounding by five security men, in presence of representatives from both US and UK Embassies.
Al-Wasat clarified that the session had an hour delay. After it started, it continued or around half an hour, and once it was over, the security forces accompanied Sheikh Ali Salman outside the court amid strict security measures.
It went on to say, "The Justice and Islamic Affairs and Endowment Ministry was surrounded since the early morning with yellow ribbons, which banned vehicles from stopping alongside the judicial building. Meanwhile, the security presence was increased, as a number of officers, security officials and men were stationed near the court hall, and no one was allowed entry before checking information and inspection."
Concerning the information about the hearing, the defense committee, which consists of 6 lawyers (Jalila al-Sayed, Abdullah al-Shemlawi, Abdul Jalil al-Aradi, Mohammad Ahmad, Hassan Radi, and Mohsen al-Alawi), made use of all the time it had to present its pleading. The detailed pleading was represented to the court committee, verbally and in writing, and included a list of demands and explanations. On his part, Sheikh Ali Salman refrained from commenting on the occurrences of the hearing, despite being given permission by Judge Ibrahim al-Zayed to speak.
Among the demands of the defense committee was the release of Sheikh Salman, by any guarantee decided by the court. The Public Prosecution however, objected to this demand during the hearing.
Moreover, the defense team asked that the Public Prosecution be assigned with investigating the forgery and perjury crimes that were proven in the investigation records, which prepared by an investigations officer.
On this level, Sheikh Ali Salman's defense team demanded that the court listens again to all his speeches that form the subject of his indictment, re-question the investigation officer, and necessarily meet all the appellant's demands.
The defense committee adhered to its demand in summoning the Interior Minister, as he is the one who demanded the criminal case to occur. His request was based on what he heard in the speeches and meetings of Sheikh Ali Salman. Then, the issue of what he heard, and how he reached the conclusion stating that in the words of the appellant, there is a crime of insulting the Interior Ministry, was under discussion, and therefore he requested that the criminal lawsuit be in action. The defense team also demanded that Head of General Security, Tarek al-Hassan, be summoned, since he was the compliant, in order to discuss with him what he included in his complaint filed on December 24, 2014. In his complaint, al-Hassan stated that Sheikh Ali Salman insulted the security men, and assaulted the state authorities, with claims that some members of the security apparatuses are involved with extremist groups such as ISIS.
The Public Prosecution on its level, adhered to all its documents filed to the First Instance Court, while rejected the defense team's request that it be summoned as a witness. It indicated that they held investigations in the perjury case presented by the defense committee, adding that the case was closed for excluding any conviction.
In addition, the Public Prosecution said that it did not rely in its list of evidence on neither the Minister of Interior nor the head of General Security as witnesses, in reference to the defense committee's request to have the two officials in the line of witnesses. The Public Prosecution also objected to the demand of releasing Sheikh Ali Salman.
The Appeals Court, presided over by Judge Ibrahim al-Zayed, decided at the end of the session to adjourn the case, and set December 4, 2016 as the day to issue the verdict.
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