Bahrain activist testifies in unrest trial
Manama, June 29, 2012
A high-profile prisoner standing trial in connection with alleged attempts to overthrow Bahrain's government testified in court yesterday (June 28) in four separate cases in connection with last year's unrest.
Opposition activist Abdulhadi Al Khawaja, who last month ended a managed hunger strike, was cross-examined at the Supreme Criminal Appeals Court during the hearings, which included Mohammed Habib Al Safaf, known as Al Meqdad, who has been jailed for 96 years in 11 cases relating to the unrest and is believed to be the mastermind in all four cases.
Al Khawaja, jailed for life for his role in an alleged coup, took to the stand along with 40 other defence witnesses behind closed doors during the six-hour hearings.
He claimed that he saw Al Safaf being mistreated in police custody.
Al Safaf was among seven men jailed for 15 years each by the National Safety Court on October 4 for the abduction of Mohammed Naif Al Falah, who was held captive in an abandoned building and at the home of two of the defendants in Bilad Al Qadeem.
However, he eventually escaped through the window of the room where he was being held and down a drainpipe.
The second case involves Al Safaf and two others, who were jailed for 10 years each by the National Safety Court on October 6 for kidnapping Nasser Ali Al Awadh, locking him up in a bird cage and torturing him in a farm in Sanabis.
The third was in connection with a Pakistani policeman who was on his way to the Khamis Police Station when his vehicle was ambushed by attackers armed with sickles, metal rods and wooden planks, on March 14 last year.
His attackers used a GMC to block his path, dragged him out of his car and attacked him before hiding him at the home of a relative.
The policeman was later allegedly taken to the former GCC (Pearl) roundabout where he was paraded on a stage before being attacked again and moved to Salmaniya Medical Complex.
Nine men, including Al Safaf, were jailed for 20 years each for their part in the attack by the National Safety Court.
The final case was in connection with a brutal attack on Pakistani Irfan Ahmad Baksh Muhammad, who was assaulted by seven Bahraini men during the unrest.
Baksh is still receiving treatment at BDF Hospital - more than a year after the attack.
Seven men were jailed for 15 years each for ambushing him and two were given 10-year sentences for encouraging the premeditated attack. Another defendant was locked up for four years for his part in the crime. – TradeArabia News Service