Bahrain court upholds jail term for aide to Shiite cleric

Bahrain court upholds jail term for aide to Shiite cleric

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_86989_bahrain-shiite-cleric(Eds: Repeating after correcting the identity of cleric)

Dubai, Jan 29 Bahrain’s court of cassation today upheld a one-year suspended jail term for an aide to Shiite spiritual leader Sheikh Isa Qassim and confirmed a decision to revoke his citizenship, a legal source said.

Sheikh Hussein Mahrus al-Kassab was handed the sentence along with Qassim and another aide by the appeals court in May.

He was also fined 100,000 Bahraini dinars (USD 265,000, 215,000 euros) after they were all convicted of illegal fundraising and money laundering.

Kassab was the only one of the three to appeal to the court of cassation, whose verdicts are final, the legal source said.

Qassim was briefly hospitalised last month for blood pressure and diabetes-related treatment.

In another ruling, the supreme court today upheld the death sentence against a Bahraini Shiite for murdering a policeman in a bomb attack in February 2013.

The court also upheld life terms for six other defendants and confirmed jail terms of six years and five years for two other men involved in the attack.

Bahrain has been shaken by unrest since security forces crushed Shiite-led protests in 2011 demanding a constitutional monarchy and an elected prime minister.

Despite repeated calls from their Western allies, Bahrain’s rulers have made no concessions to the Shiite opposition and have intensified a crackdown on critics.

The strategic Gulf kingdom is a key regional ally of the United States and serves as home for its Fifth Fleet.

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