Bahrain Regime Delays Verdict in Ayatollah Qassem Trial

Bahrain Regime Delays Verdict in Ayatollah Qassem Trial

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A Bahraini court has decided on Tuesday to postpone its verdict in the trial of prominent Shia figure, Ayatollah Sheikh Issa Qassem.

A court had set March 14 as a date to issue its verdict in Sheikh Isa Qassim’s case, but then decided to adjourn it until May 7, Bahrain Mirror reported.

The authorities are trying Ayatollah Qassem, his office head Sheikh Hussein Mahrous, and Mirza Al-Dirazi, for performing Khums (religious tax) Shiite ritual and accuse them of laundering money and raising funds without licenses.

Meanwhile, Ayatollah Qassem refused to admit the trial or attend any of its sessions. He also refused to assign a lawyer in the vexatious case.

On June 20, Bahraini authorities stripped 79-year-old Sheikh Qassem of his citizenship over his support for reform in the kingdom, prompting hundreds of Bahrainis to defend the religious figure by staging a sit-in near his house in Diraz, west of the capital, Manama.

Ahead of the trial on Tuesday, Bahraini cities and towns witnessed waves of rage as hundreds of protesters took to streets across the country to voice support to their religious reference.

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