Dubai: Bahrain on Tuesday jailed 138 people and revoked their citizenship for plotting to form a "terror" group with links to Iran's Revolutionary Guards, the public prosecutor said
Court on Tuesday sentenced 69 defendants to life in prison over attempted murder, forming a terrorist group and causing explosions. They received prison terms of three years to life for having tried to build a Bahrain Hezbollah, similar to the Shiite militia active in Lebanon, said Ahmad al-Hammadi.
The High Criminal Court also sentenced 39 to ten years in prison, 23 to seven years, one to five years and seven to three years.
Some members had received military training in Lebanon, Iran and Iraq, he said in a statement.
The court acquitted 30 of the 169 defendants who were put on trial on a multitude of charges. It also revoked the Bahraini citizenship from 138 and sentenced 96 to fines of BD100,000 each.
The charges also included forming and joining a terror group, training on the use of weapons and explosives, possessing and making incendiary devices and guns, funding a terror group, receiving and transporting funds for terrorist purposes, concealing weapons, ammunition and explosives and damaging public and private property.
According to case documents, Iranian leaders had ordered the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to work on unifying Bahraini terrorist groups and movements by holding several meetings in Iran and coordinating with terrorists in other countries.
The Bahraini group members were given technical, financial and logistical support to encourage them to unite their ranks into one group they named Hezbollah Bahrain, the public prosecution said.
The aim is to ensure that all the leaders and elements who had received terrorism training would work together, recruit more elements who were not known to the security agencies and train them in Iran, Iraq and Lebanon.
Targets in Bahrain included security staff, public figures, police patrols, oil installations, business companies and vital areas with the aim of creating chaos, spreading fear, putting people's lives at risk and preventing the state institutions from functioning properly.
The charges were based on testimonies, confessions, technical reports and evidence collected from various sources.
Under Bahrain's laws, the defendants have the right to appeal the verdicts and take their case to the Court of Appeals and subsequently to the Court of cassation.