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Court to review Qatar spying case on November 27

Public prosecution says charges based on clear evidence

15:26 November 12, 2017

Manama: A case of espionage for Qatar in which three Bahraini suspects are reportedly involved will be reviewed by Bahrain's High Criminal Court on November 27.

Public Prosecution Advocate General Ahmad Al Hammadi said that Ali Salman, the former head of the now-dissolved Al Wefaq Society, Hassan Sultan and Ali Al Aswad would be tried for espionage for a foreign country to carry out subversive acts against Bahrain and undermine its political and economic status and its national interests in order to topple the regime.

Other charges include passing on defence secrets to a foreign country, accepting money from a foreign country in exchange for supplying military secrets and information related to the internal situation in the country and broadcasting news and false and malicious rumors abroad to weaken financial trust in the kingdom and undermine its status.

Al Hammadi said the public prosecution charges were based on evidence gathered from the testimonies of witnesses and recorded telephone conversations between Ali Salman and Hassan Sultan with Qatari officials that included agreements and coordination between the two sides to carry out subversive acts against Bahrain.

The public prosecution also relied for its evidence on Qatar's record of activities targeting Arab countries, mainly Bahrain, and its use of media to incite against their political regimes while having close contacts with nationals opposed to their countries, such as the Bahraini suspects in the case, Al Hammadi added.

Bahrain said that the phone conversations were recorded as the dramatic events that hit Bahrain in 2011 were unfolding.

Only Ali Salman is in custody, serving a jail sentence since 2014.

On June 5, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt severed their diplomatic and trade relations with Qatar, accusing it of supporting extremists and funding terrorism.