15 face death sentence over expat killing
Manama, June 20, 2011
Fifteen men accused of brutally murdering a Pakistani in the Manama suq area of Bahrain are likely to face the death penalty. A verdict will be given on June 27.
Abdul Malik Ghulam Rasool was reportedly dragged from his home and attacked with swords and knives by anti-government protesters in March.
The 34-year-old was beaten to death by an armed mob of up to 50 people before being dumped near a mosque.
Prosecutors yesterday demanded the suspects be given the maximum sentence possible due to the disturbing nature of the crime.
Relatives earlier claimed the mob had been going door to door looking for Asian expatriates to attack.
"There is solid evidence against the men who have used jungle law to fulfil their premeditated murder against the victim," said the Military Prosecutor.
"We want the maximum punishment against those men who have shocked society with their actions, which has seen humanity and compassion taken from it."
The remaining suspects in the case, being heard at the Lower National Safety Court, have still to be identified.
Defence lawyers of the 15 detained claimed their clients had been coerced into confessing.
"The men were beaten up to get them to confess and the evidence of medical examinations is that the main suspect has lost hearing in his left ear," they said.
"We ask that the case be changed to excessive beating leading to death and not premeditated murder because those men didn't go out to kill Asians and as they confessed they just wanted them out of Manama."
Rasool, from Multan in the Pakistani state of Punjab, worked as a crane driver for the Abu Najeeb Shipping Company. He is survived by his father and four brothers and got engaged two months before his death.
In another development, 16 men accused of blockading the Bahrain Financial Harbour (BFH) area appeared in court for the first time on Sunday.
Four other suspects have also been accused in connection with the crime, but did not attend the hearing.
One of those absent remains in the BDF Hospital and the court allowed his family to visit him. Most of the suspects have not yet appointed lawyers and judges gave them until June 29 to do so.-TradeArabia News Service