Muscat: The Ibri Primary Court has sentenced about 21 people for rioting and acquitted four over lack of evidence against them, according to a press release from the Public Prosecution. The Misdemeanours section of the court handed out prison terms ranging from one to five years and fined them from 300 riyals to 1,300 riyals (Dh2,833 to Dh12,278) respectively.
The court acquitted four of the accused among the crowd of about 25 people accused of rioting and damaging public property on March 14 this year over lack of evidence against the charges levelled against them. Each of the convicts was released on a bail of 400 riyals pending appeal in the higher court. The accused were also asked to pay for damages they caused to a police vehicle as well as the Ibri police station.
According to the court records, a police patrol spotted a vehicle on the streets of Ibri, about 270km north-west of Muscat, without a registration plate. When the police stopped the car, they found the driver under the influence of alcohol. “After completing the legal procedure the policemen were moving the vehicle on a crane when they were surrounded by a mob, which pelted them with stones,” the court records state.
Despite the stone pelting, the police managed to drive to the police station. However, the mob followed them and pelted stones at the police station, breaking window panes and damaging property. The rioting mob was dispersed by a Special Task Force summoned to the scene.
The police, after thorough investigations and proper identification, arrested about 25 people. The court order states that the accused admitted to throwing stones at the police vehicle as well as the police station.
The accused were charged with various offences, including driving without the registration plate, driving under the influence of alcohol, reckless driving and putting other’s lives in danger, preventing police from discharging their duty, rioting as well as disturbing the public order.