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Cablegate: Sunni Extremist On Trial

VZCZCXRO5748
PP RUEHDE RUEHDIR
DE RUEHMK #0558 2341341
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 211341Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY MANAMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8071
INFO RUEHZM/GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD PRIORITY 0279
RHBVAKS/COMUSNAVCENT PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L MANAMA 000558

SIPDIS

BAGHDAD FOR AMBASSADOR ERELI

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/21/2018
TAGS: PTER PGOV ASEC PHUM BA
SUBJECT: SUNNI EXTREMIST ON TRIAL

REF: MANAMA 417

Classified By: CDA Christopher Henzel for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

1.(C) Summary: A Bahraini with suspected ties to Al Qaeda will go on trial August 24. Prosecutors contest claims that the accused was denied access to his lawyer. End summary.

2.(C) Bahraini prosecutors announced to local media that on August 24 the High Court will hear charges against a Bahraini man they name only as "A.S." who was arrested on June 9 for alleged connections to a "foreign terrorist group" - understood here to refer to Al Qaeda. An ex-leftist turned agitator for the radical Sunni Adala Society (aka National Justice Movement), Abdullah Hashim, is serving as defense attorney. (NOTE: Adala, a small nationalist party, regularly agitates on behalf of Sunnis accused by the GOB of links with Sunni terrorist organizations. End Note.) Hashim complained to media that he has been unable to meet with Prosecutor General Dr. Ali bin Fadhel Al Buanain, present his client's case, or accompany his client during questioning. The public prosecution office publicly responded that two lawyers from Hashim's office attended the detainee's interviews with prosecutors.

3.(C) Senior prosecutor Nawaf Al Maouda told poloff that Hashim called the prosecutors' office and demanded to speak with the Prosecutor General but refused to explain why. The office told Hashim he could request an appointment and speak with anybody he wanted. Maouda, visibly frustrated, complained that Hashim instead went to the media. ********************************************* ******** Visit Embassy Manama's Classified Website: XXXXXXXXXXXX********************************************* ******** HENZEL

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