Manama – Bahrain’s court of Cassation on Monday reduced the jail sentence of Sec-Gen of the now-dissolved al-Wefaq Association Ali Salman from nine to four years. Salman has been in prison since 2014.
The court’s decision is considered final as per the Bahraini constitution which guarantees the defendant three levels: first, appeal and cassation. The final four-year sentence imposed on Salman is irrevocable and he should be freed from jail on December 28, 2018.
In December 2014, Salman, 51, was arrested on charges of inciting hatred and insulting the state. The charges of forcibly changing the regime had been dropped against him. In June 2015, he was found guilty and sentenced to four years in prison.
The court annulled Salman’s five-year sentence that had been handed down to him by the Court of Appeals for allegedly conducting activities aimed at regime change.
An appeals court later more than doubled his jail term to nine years, after reversing the earlier acquittal on charges of calling for regime change by force.
“After deliberations, the Court of Cassation canceled the nine-year ruling issued [earlier] by the Court of Appellation and reinstated the four-year verdict initially handed to him by the Division 4 Criminal Court in 2015,” said one of Salman’s defense attorneys on Monday.
Last year, Bahrain ordered the dissolution of al-Wefaq for “harboring terrorism”.