What if Sheikh Ali Salman’s Lawyers Subpoena the King?
2018-04-12 - 7:14 p
Bahrain Mirror - Exclusive: The defense team representing Bahraini opposition leader, Sheikh Ali Salman, is to stand before the court again to defend him in a new case that came out of blue, only to keep him in custody, after his sentence ruled in his first case is ought to end by the end of this year.
Around 4 years passed since the arrest of Al-Wefaq Secretary General; the society which was one day the biggest political party in the Gulf, before its dissolution mid-July 2016.
The real turning point of the political crisis was the arrest of Sheikh Ali Salman on December 28, 2014. That was when the regime's new strategy in dealing with the uprising and opposition entered into force.
It was a strategy not based on Trump's election, neither on having Mohammad bin Salman reach power in Saudi Arabia, nor on the latter's father becoming King; it rather happened before all that. With the end of the parliamentary elections in 2014, the game rules were not expected to remain the same. The arrest of Sheikh Ali was the first indicator of the regime's run-out of political solutions, and of its clear delinquency towards extreme radicalism, in parallel with mobilization of support as much as possible, and gradually proceeding with the plan.
The plan was to end everything, no matter the cost! Sheikh Ali's trial was the prologue directly linked to the citizenship revocation of Sheikh Isa Qassim, and the arrest of Nabeel Rajab. This then was tied to the complete eradication of the public political work through the dissolution of Al-Wefaq Society, followed by The National Democratic Action Society (Wa'ad). This was the necessary intro, and the main condition that led to allowing executions and fatal security operations, leading to a full-fledged police state.
In a political world taken by insanity, the Bahraini regime fetched the best chance to eradicate everything. No one will stand in its face after today, as long as it's playing in the fields of Mohammad bin Salman, Mohammad bin Zayed, and of course, the US President Donald Trump. It was the ideal time to export its crises abroad, towards a more exciting direction: Qatar.
Bahrain was the lead player in the greater international game against Qatar, and the King himself wished for this role for so long. And so, he could play it freely, he first conducted a full liquidation internally.
However, accounts were not exactly settled, Sheikh Ali Salman had ought to receive a bigger piece of it, as his release at the end of this year is no longer accepted. Therefore, Qatar was retroactively exploited to extend his imprisonment, while he was used as added fuel to ignite the fire in the war on Qatar.
Sheikh Ali Salman was accused of treason with Qatar, in an attempt to topple the regime in Bahrain. This was based on calls between Sheikh Ali and former Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabr Al Thani. Despite the obvious fabrication of this accusation based on its timing, as the calls link back to 7 years ago, no one cared. All what matters is to convict Qatar and Sheikh Ali Salman.
Since the game expanded to become that of "states", the former Qatari Prime Minister openly interfered, giving his testimony on the matter by himself. Through televised broadcasts, he confirmed that the phone calls in question took place in the knowledge of Bahrain King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, and as part of a Gulf-US initiative to resolve the crisis.
For his part, Al-Wefaq Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Hussein al-Daihi witnessed that Hamad bin Jassem conducted 2 phone calls with Sheikh Ali Salman. During the first call, he was sitting with the King, while the second happened in presence of Former Assistant US Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman.
In Sheikh Ali Salman's plea, which he was not allowed to read before the court (2015), he confirmed that he met the King in person before the launch of the February 14 revolution, in a bit to warn and advise him. When Sheikh Ali tried to start saying his plea in the court, he was received by calls of anger, before he was dragged outside the court hall.
In his testimony, which was later published in a book entitled "A Plea of a Country" (in Arabic) on March 2017, Sheikh Ali confirms that he advised the King during their meeting to take the initiative as he did in 2001, and to change the government as a form of easing things down. Sheikh Ali says that the King responded to him saying, "I am with my people in their aspiration towards democracy to the end, but we need to take into account some circumstances in the region. I told the rulers of the region that I have a lively and political people, demanding democracy for a long time, and that Bahrain's circumstances are different than those of its neighbors."
Was the King also conspiring against the country when he talked about his country with the rulers of the region?
Despite the many details mentioned by Sheikh Ali Salman in his plea, as a witness to history, he preferred not to mention anything about the Qatari-US initiative, to avoid any diplomatic repercussion, and thus the unveiled is yet to be greater!
As the first court presided over by Judge Ali Al-Dhahrani refused (2015) to hear the plea of Sheikh Ali Salman, the same court, presided over by the same judge, will also refuse to hear what he has to say about his calls with the Qatari Prime Minister, and details about the Qatar-US initiative to resolve the crisis, for which the Bahraini King officially received Hamad bin Jassem Al Thani and Jeffrey Feltman.
The defense team representing Sheikh Ali Salman will be asked to provide witnesses to deny these accusations, and of course, the testimony of Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem Al Thani, or that of Sheikh Hussain al-Daihi will not be possible. However, what if the defense team subpoenas the King?
Would Judge Al-Dhahrani listen to his testimony?
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