Manama: King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa on Thursday commuted the death sentence pronounced by the Military Cassation Court against four defendants to life in prison.

The king’s decision was based on Article 41 of the constitution of Bahrain and on Article 84 of the Military Judiciary Law, Military Judiciary President Yousuf Flaifal said.

Article 41 stipulates that “the King may abate or commute a sentence by Decree.”

On Wednesday, the Military Court of Cassation on upheld the death sentences against six defendants charged with forming a terrorist group, attempting to assassinate the Commander-in-Chief of Bahrain Defence Force (BDF) and carrying out terror attacks.

When the 18 members of the group were put on trial on December 26 last year, only 10 were present while the others were tried in absentia. The court heard they were in Iran and Iraq.

Six defendants, including one soldier, were sentenced to death and to 15 years in jail on while seven other defendants were sentenced to seven years in jail. The court ordered the revocation of the citizenship of the 13 defendants.

Five suspects were acquitted by the court.

The verdicts were appealed and six defendants appeared before the High Military Court of Appeals on February 21.

The court reduced the sentence of two defendants from seven to five years, but upheld all the other verdicts.

These included the death sentence for four defendants and the seven year prison terms for two defendants who were present at the trial.