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Cablegate: Court Convicts Terrorist Cell Defendants, But

VZCZCXRO3876
OO RUEHDE RUEHDIR
DE RUEHMK #0020 0161455
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 161455Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY MANAMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7529
INFO RUEHZM/GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHBVAKS/COMUSNAVCENT PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L MANAMA 000020

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/16/2018
TAGS: PGOV PTER KISL ASEC BA
SUBJECT: COURT CONVICTS TERRORIST CELL DEFENDANTS, BUT
RELEASE IMMINENT

REF: A. 07 MANAMA 1052
B. 07 MANAMA 967
C. 07 MANAMA 932
D. 07 MANAMA 913
E. 07 MANAMA 876
F. 07 MANAMA 831
G. 07 MANAMA 820
H. 07 MANAMA 794
I. 07 MANAMA 790

Classified By: Ambassador Adam Ereli for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

1.(SBU) The High Criminal Court January 16 announced guilty verdicts against the five defendants charged with membership in a terrorist organization, undergoing terrorist training, facilitating the travel of others abroad to receive terrorist training, and financing terrorism under the 2006 counter-terrorism law. Ishaaq Faheem Ishaaq Abd al-Rahman, Abdulrahman Mohammad Jaffar Ali, and Ali Eid Muttar Jassim were each sentenced to six months in prison, with credit for time served. Ishaaq, Jaffar, and Jassim have been in custody since August and could go free in a matter of days. Co-defendants Mohammad Abdulkareem Al-Khan and Khalifa Al-Subayi were tried in absentia and remain at large.

2.(C) An embassy contact XXXXXXXXXXXX(protect) confirmed the verdicts against the five.

3.(C) Chief Prosecutor Nawaf Al-Mouada told Poloff that both the prosecution and defense have two weeks in which to file an appeal. He explained that the prosecution must base any appeal on the legal reasoning of the verdict. It may not appeal the sentence in and of itself. Al-Mouada said that the Attorney General would study the verdict closely before deciding whether to file an appeal. Poloff asked whether he was surprised by either the verdicts or the sentences, and Al-Mouada said he had expected the convictions, but that he thought the sentences would be "a little longer."

4.(C) Comment: Ishaaq, Jaffar, and Jassim were all arrested in early August 2007. With credit for time served, they could all be released within a week or two. Though obtaining convictions under the new counter-terrorism law marks a step forward, the light sentences dull the shine of that achievement. Post will report further developments as the prosecution weighs its options for an appeal. ********************************************* ******** Visit Embassy Manama's Classified Website: XXXXXXXXXXXX********************************************* ******** ERELI

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