UAE, Bahrain adopt new measures to prosecute Hezbollah ‘agents’
Supporters of Lebanon's Free Patriotic Movement celebrate the election of their leader MP Michel Aoun (portrait) and carry the flag of Hezbollah in the town of Jdeideh north of Beirut on October 31, 2016. (AFP/Marwan Tahtah)
The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain adopted on Monday new legal measures against people accused of spying and working for Iran and Hezbollah.
Seven people in the UAE were convicted of forming a cell linked to Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement on Monday, according to local news agencies.
One Emirati national and two Lebanese were sentenced to life imprisonment, while an Iraqi and another Lebanese man were each sentenced to 15 years prison time, state news agency WAM said.
An Egyptian woman and another Emirati citizen were each handed a 10-year sentence, it added.
The charges included “passing classified information about a governmental department to Lebanon’s Hezbollah terrorist (group) and for the benefit of a foreign country,” the agency reported.
The defendants were also accused of passing information about “oil production in one of the emirates as well as maps of oil and gas fields,” it said.
The charges also included “forming and managing an international group belonging to the (Hezbollah) party without a license from the government”.
In another hearing, the court jailed an Emirati man, 24, for seven years for “fighting with a terrorist group in Syria,” The National daily reported.
His sister, 34, was sentenced to five years for posting insulting tweets against the state, the paper said.
Meanwhile in Bahrain, the Public Prosecution referred 11 suspects, including nine in custody, to the High Criminal Court for trial on December 7, in relation to the terror explosion that occurred in Al-Nuwaiderat area, on June 30, and in which a Bahraini woman was killed.
Terror Crime Prosecutor Khalid Al Temimi said on Monday that the Public Prosecution had completed its investigation into the crime, adding that the suspects were accused of premeditated murder and sharing intelligence information with a foreign country, as well as other terror crimes.
Bahrain News Agency reported that one of the suspects, a fugitive in Iran who works for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, tasked the two perpetrators of the crime to carry out the explosion in order to target police patrols and kill their members.
The agency added that the suspect has provided the perpetrators with the explosive device and after surveying police movement at the site of the incident, the two perpetrators placed the bomb and detonated it killing the Bahraini woman, who was driving her car, and injuring her children.
One of the suspects managed to escape after committing the crime and was harbored by other suspects who were arrested according to legal procedures and questioned by the Public Prosecution, BNA added.
The local agency also noted that the public prosecution relied in its investigation on verbal evidence, including the witnesses’ testimonies, technical evidence, reports by the Criminal Investigation Directorate (CID), a video footage by CCTV cameras and the suspects’ confessions.