Bahrain to issue appeals ruling next month in Qatar spying case

The appeals case against opposition leader Ali Salman and two others was heard at the court on October 15



Bahrain’s high court of appeals will issue its ruling on November 4 in the Qatar Intelligence links case against three opposition members, the official Bahrain News Agency (BNA) reported.

The appeals case against Ali Salman Ali Ahmed – the former secretary general of the now-dissolved Al Wefaq – Hassan Ali Juma Sultan and Ali Mahdi Ali Al Aswad, was heard at the court on October 15.

In June, the defendants were acquitted by the high criminal court of conspiring with Qatar.

They were cleared of the charges including – establishing intelligence links with Qatar, disclosing defence secrets, accepting money from a foreign country in consideration of supplying it with Bahrain’s military secrets and information about internal situation, and purposefully spreading false rumours aimed to undermine the kingdom’s reputation and sovereignty.

However, at the high court of appeals, the public prosecution lodged an objection, arguing that the “fully-fledged crime of foreign intelligence was committed by the defendants”.

That included “communication with Qatari officials, coordinating with them to continue the illegal acts rioting witnessed by the kingdom in 2011 including acts of murder, gross assault, abduction, incineration and vandalism aimed to prevent Bahraini security forces from maintaining law and order during these incidents”.

It also presented as evidence the telephone call that took place between Ali Salman and the then Qatari official Hamad bin Jassim which “revealed their co-ordination to block the Peninsula Shield Forces from entering Bahrain and to use any amount of force so as to continue the chaotic incidents blended with crimes to destablise the kingdom and topple its constitutional regime”, the report stated.

The public prosecution also cited as evidence the telephone call between Hassan Sultan and the special adviser of Qatar’s emir regarding “co-ordination to escalate the incidents and to use Qatari government-run Al Jazeera TV to stir strife and topple regimes by broadcasting false allegations and images and to sow sedition as well”.

It demanded the court to convict the defendants and issue the maximum penalty against them.

The hearing was held in public in accordance with the law where Ali Salman appeared in the presence of his lawyers, BNA reported.

Ali Salman has been in custody since 2014, serving a jail sentence in another case.