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Bahrain justice minister calls to lift MP’s immunity

Committee will assess request ahead of parliamentary debate

Image Credit:
MP Salman Al Shaikh
Gulf News

Manama: Bahrain’s justice minister has called for lifting the immunity of a lawmaker upon a request from the public prosecutor.

The request to strip MP Salman Al Shaikh of his parliamentary immunity has been sent to Parliament Speaker Khalifa Al Dhahrani and the legislative committee of the lower chamber will decide whether it will be forwarded to the full session for a vote by the 40 lawmakers.

Under the parliament bylaws, the committee has ten days to announce its decision.

Removing the immunity would allow the public prosecution to quiz the lawmaker over a complaint that he brandished a gun in public, reports in the Bahraini capital Manama said.

The committee has no right to look into the details of the case or check the evidence presented to the public prosecutor. Its role is confined to assessing whether the legal complaint is malicious and intended to prevent the MP from assuming his responsibilities in parliament.

Legal measures against the lawmaker are allowed to proceed if the chamber votes to lift the immunity.

Even if an MP agrees to have his immunity removed, the approval of the parliament is required.

Al Shaikh, a 44-year-old independent lawmaker, is member of the foreign affairs, defence and national security committee.