Qatari Court Sentences Coup Suspects to Death
A cousin of the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, and 18 other people have been condemned to death for their role in planning a coup attempt in 1996.
In addition, 26 people were sentenced to life imprisonment, while 28 were acquitted, said BBC.Online.
In passing the death sentences, the appeals court in the capital, Doha, overruled life sentences handed down in February last year.
At the time, the emir's cousin Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Hamad Al Thanin and 32 others were jailed for life for plotting to overthrow the Emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, while another 85 defendants were acquitted.
In the original trial, which started in 1997, witnesses, including Qatar's prime minister and foreign minister, alleged that the suspects had foreign backing for the 1996 bid.
They pointed the finger of blame at Bahrain.
The cousin, a former economy and trade minister and police chief, denied the charges and hoped the emir would pardon all of the accused plotters. The former police chief was arrested in July 1998 as his private aircraft, on a flight out of Beirut, was diverted in midair to Doha by Qatari undercover agents.
The accusations addressed are the attempt to topple the emir, using weapons against the state, attempting to oust the emir by means of force, and contacting foreign states to commit aggressive acts – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)