Manama- An appeals court in Bahrain set up the retrial of Shiite opposition chief Ali Salman on Sunday. Salman was sentenced to nine years in prison for inciting sectarian strife.
The head of the now-banned Al-Wefaq group attended the hearing in Manama but refused to answer the judge’s questions, a judicial source said.
His defense lawyers insisted that Salman was innocent, sources told AFP.
A verdict would be announced on December 4, advocate general Haroun al-Zayani said in a statement carried by the official BNA news agency.
Salman, behind bars since December 2014, was sentenced in July last year to four years in prison after being convicted of inciting hatred.
However, in May, the appeals court increased his jail sentence to nine years after reversing an earlier acquittal on charges of calling for regime change by force.
Bahrain’s public prosecutor said that the stiffer sentence related to “crimes of promoting change to the political system by force”, according to the Bahrain state news agency BNA.
In July, a court ordered Al-Wefaq’s dissolution for “harboring terrorism”, inciting violence and encouraging demonstrations which threatened civil peace.