2018: End of Case over which Constitution was Amended: Life Sentences Issued against Accused over Marshal Assassination Plot
2019-01-06 - 5:12 am
Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): On April 25, 2018, the Military Cassation Court in Bahrain upheld death sentences against 4 Bahrainis over charges of attempting to assassinate Commander-in-Chief of the Bahrain Defence Force, Marshal Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Khalifa. It was the strangest charge issued since the eruption of protests in 2011.
The military judiciary made its final decision ordering the execution of four Bahrainis: Mubarak Adel Mubarak Mhana, Fadel Al-Sayed Hasan Radi, Sayed Alawi Hussein Alawi Hussein and Mohammad Abdulhasan Ahmad Al-Motaghawi, although the alleged crime was not actually executed.
The families of the four convicts were summoned, before the court held its last hearing session, to attend a meeting in the building of the military court. They were told that they have to return the following morning for another meeting, without being given further information. It was a stressful day for Bahrainis, and social media got stirred up with condemnation, anger, prayers and suspicion that death penalty, which was already carried out against three Bahrainis in early 2017 for the murder of Emirati officer Al-Shehhi, would be carried out once more.
Bahrainis held their breaths when the families went to the meeting on the second day, and the surprise was when they were told that the king commuted the death sentences to life imprisonment. Despite the severity of the latter verdict and the Bahrainis belief in the injustice of their regime, this was enough for people to take another breath. Two hours later, the decision was officially announced on the Bahrain News Agency website. The king said via a letter to the Marshal the following day that the latter was behind the king's decision not to ratify the death sentences against those accused of plotting the assassination.
The story began in 2016, on September 26, when a security force raided the house of Fadhel Abbas and transferred him to an unknown place. Over a month later, Sayed Alawi Hussein was arrested. Meanwhile, the reasons for their arrests remained unknown. Witnesses said that Sayed Alawi's confessions were extracted under torture.
The political situation became tense, as a result of the citizenship revocation of Bahrain's Shiite spiritual leader Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim, the open sit-in staged by his supporters around his house, as well as the dissolution of Al-Wefaq and the arrests of more human rights activists and political figures, namely Nabeel Rajab.
On May 9, 2017, two weeks before the Diraz raid, the Public Prosecutor's Office announced the referral of Sayed Fadhel to (military trial), as the Bahraini King had ratified about a month earlier (April 4, 2017) constitutional amendments allowing military courts to try civilians. This was among the first surprises.
The official news agency indicated that for the first time, the military judiciary will look into a case of three individuals, one of whom a military personnel, while two others were civilians accused of committing crimes with terrorist purposes. They were accused of planning to target military facilities and defense force personnel.
One year after the arrest of the two men, the military judiciary announced that the security agencies responsible for combating terrorism in the Bahrain Defence Force had managed to arrest a "terrorist cell" aimed at committing a number of terrorist crimes against the Bahrain Defence Force, and the accused had been referred to the competent military court. One day later, the trial hearings in this case began at an accelerated pace, with five hearings sessions in less than a month, all of which were confidential.
It was later revealed that the focus of the case was on accusing the group of planning to assassinate the "Marshal", the main defendants were: Mubarak (soldier), Sayed Fadhel Abbas, Sayed Alawi Hussein, Mohammed Al-Shahabi, and Mohammad Al-Mutghawi. The fifth defendant is martyr Mohammad Kazem Zainuddin, who was martyred in the attack on Diraz on May 23, 2017. Others were also included in the case, in minor roles, bringing the total number of defendants to 18, some are in custody with regard to other cases, and 8 wanted inside and outside Bahrain.
The regime claims that the first major defendant, Mubarak, who works in the army, was recruited to assassinate the marshal by using his military weapon.
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