Bahrain’s top military court yesterday sentenced six men to death for plotting to assassinate its chief of the armed forces.
It was the first official mention of any plot against the life of Field Marshal Sheikh Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, who is a member of the ruling family.
“The defendants were accused of the formation of a terrorist cell, attempting to assassinate the Bahrain defence force commander-in-chief and committing other terrorist crimes,” Bahrain’s official news agency said.
There were no further details of the plot. According to the news agency, 18 defendants were originally implicated in the plot.
Bahrain said that one of the accused was a serving soldier before his arrest, and that all six had also been stripped of their citizenship.
The military court sentenced seven others to seven-year jail terms and deprived them of their citizenship. Five men were acquitted.
Only 10 of the defendants are in custody, the government said.
The other eight are on the run, either inside Bahrain or in Iran or Iraq.
The convicted men have the right to appeal.
The trial is the first since constitutional amendments allowed Bahraini military courts to try civilians accused of terrorism and security-related crimes.
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