(9) The Judge Ebrahim Al Zayed: the most merciless...the most lenient
2014-09-11 - 2:14 م
Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive):
Ebrahim Al Zayed, the fourth criminal court’s judge is known to be the most extreme in searching for evidence to convict political prisoners
as well as in searching for evidence to acquit torturers and criminals. Al Zayed issues the harshest sentences against the accused politicians and the most lenient sentences when it comes to torturers and killers.
Al Zayed is well known for his soft voice and effeminate way of talking. He has distinctive body movements. He is narcissist and self-impressed. His close people describe him as “a self-impressed girl”. However, this kindness is strangely met with harshness in issuing legal provisions against the security and political convicts. But such a contradiction comes as no surprise in Bahrain’s loose judicial system; the unjust, unfair and dependent system. It is to mention that the same system turns to be very severe and strict when dealing with the political opposers.
The harshest in punishing…
The following are examples of Al Zayed’s utmost cruel sentences whose victims were amongst the political convicts:
- Al Zayed sentenced convicts to ten year in prison in May 2013 as a result of them throwing Molotov bombs on a police car.
- In October 2013, Al Zayed sentenced 9 citizens to life imprisonment and 4 citizens to 10 years in prison in the (5 Tons) case.
- He also sentenced 37 Bahraini youths to 5-10 years in prison in October 2013 in the “Al Diraz explosion” case.
- In 19 February 2014, Al Zayed issued a death penalty against a citizen from Al Sehla and life imprisonment sentence against six other citizens charged with killing a policeman.
- In addition, Al Zayed handed out life imprisonment sentences to 16 Bahrainis and 10 years in prison to 2 others in March 2014. These two were charged with an attempt to murder a policeman; the charge that became to underline to any clash between the protestors and security forces.
- However, in April 2014, Al Zayed issued a life imprisonment sentence against 12 accused. He also passed a verdict against 2 citizens to 15 years in prison under the charge of collaborating with Iran.
The most lenient…
The aforementioned cases are samples of Al Zayed’s sentences against the protestors. Contrary to these strict sentences, we notice loose and lenient ones when the convicts are of killers or torturers from the Ministry of Interior.
Al Zayed absolved Mubarak Bin Howail and Norah bint Abdallah, the famous torturers known for abusing 6 doctors, in July 2013.
In addition, he absolved, in September 2012, two policemen engaged in killing the two martyrs Ali Al Mo’men and Issa Abdulhassan although a number of witnesses including the journalist Naziha Said saw the murder. However, the two policemen did not attend the sentence hearing for they were already set free.
According to the lawyer Mohamed Al Tajer, most of the accused in the murder cases “did not enter jail until the day of judgment, although they should have been imprisoned since the first day.” He added, “They were never inside prison.”
The harshest sentence issued by Al Zayed against a Ministry of Interior official was in September 2012. It was against the murderer of the martyr Hani Abdulaziz, where he sentenced the former to only 7 years in prison. It is to note that this sentence is considered the maximum penalty for the charge of “beating until death” which is used as a substitute for “the intentional murder” charge in order to lessen the judgment.
In May 2013, Al Zayed ordered to set free the two police officers accused of killing Hussein Al Jaziri who passed away on 14 February 2013. The two officers got out on bail of 500 Dinar for each and then were pronounced clear of guilt.
The paradox lies in Al Zayed setting the officials in the Ministry of Interior convicted with murder free, whereas he refused to release a pregnant Bahraini woman charged with assaulting a policewoman. The detained woman was in her last month of pregnancy and was suffering from bad health conditions.
in her last month of pregnancy and was suffering from bad health conditions.
In general, Al Zayed is known to be the most famous one in issuing collective harsh sentences without considering the differences in roles and grounds. He, moreover, makes use of every space that can be found to be used against the accused politicians.
While Al Zayed’s trials depend on secret investigations and anonymous witnesses to convict the accused political detainees, these evidences are refuted when listening to the testimony of the present witnesses with respect to murderers and torturers. The evidence is also disproved when the detainees show the marks of torturing imprinted on their bodies.
Al Zayed refused to play a video submitted by Mohammad Al Mahasna showing the killing of the martyr Fadel Al Matrouk at Al Salmaniya complex at the hands of a Ministry of Interior official on 15 February 2011. Mohammad handed the video and pointed at the killer found in the court room saying, “This is the killer”. He then showed the video, he recorded, showing the process of killing Fadel Al Matrouk. The video taped the whole process starting from the moment the ministry of interior’s members attacked the funeral of Ali Mushaima until shooting Al Matrouk to death. Al Zayed refused to show this video in his court, and absolved the killer later on.
It is a paradox when Al Zayed, himself, sentences Mohammad Al Mahasna, the only witness on the murder of Al Matrouk, to life imprisonment based on a malicious charge.
Al Zayed’s severe sentences are not born out of 2011 incidents alone. He has been already known, before 2011, for number of cases of which he issued severe sentences against protestors and activists. One of the most famous cases is “The Airport Case” when a protest automatically happened in Bahrain airport on 25
December 2005 as a result of the arrest of Sheikh Mohammed Sanad.
Sanad was returning from Iran where he studied. He also called for a referendum on the legitimacy of the regime in Bahrain under the auspices of the United Nations two months before his arrest.
At that time, Al Zayed was a judge in the second criminal court when he issued an enforceable judgment against 12 accused from the arrested in the airport case. After the public prosecution failed to submit clear evidence proving that any of them has sabotaged or protested, it charged them for assembling.
The punishment issued by Al Zayed against the airport protestors was the most severe in the assembly penal code. Article 178/179 of this code stipulates that the punishment for assembly should not exceed two years in prison. It was obvious that this punishment was based on political motivations due to the unrests witnessed in the country. Had this assembling happened after 2011, terrorism, sabotaging and terrifying the citizens’ charges would have been added too, just as is happening today. Moreover, the 10-years-period of punishment would not have been less. Al Zayed’s strict ruling (which is politically biased) was created by the regime which wants judges to use in oppressing the activists under legal titles. Al Zayed was moved to the second criminal court in 2006.
Amid Al Dharani’s foolishness and Al Zayed’s cunningness
Al Zayed (was appointed in 2002) differs from his angry blockheaded colleague, Al Dhahrani. Due to Al Dhahranis’ stupidity, weak personality and lack of professional and legal capabilities, he is known to be biased and obedient to the regime against the protestors. . On the other hand, Al Zayed is known for his smartness and cunningness. He has the ability to make use of his legal knowledge and skills to hide his orientation during the hearings. He appears in the form of the just and good-listener judge who listens to all parties. However, his deceitful actions are soon uncovered due to his bias dealings with the evidence and the punishments issued later on. This cunningness makes the authority depend on him in more difficult missions. How?
Security and political cases can be divided into two types:
- Neglected cases: are those cases whereupon unknown activists and protestors are tried. These cases are not usually followed by the public opinion no matter how severe the punishment was. The regime usually makes use of these cases and pins terrorist charges to these citizens in order not to allow any human right accountability or foreign following up.
- Cases in Focus: are those cases whereupon prominent and famous leaders are tried. These cases are usually of concern and followed by local and international public opinions. Usually a group of volunteer lawyers, a number of activists, international human rights defenders and representatives of embassies worldwide attend and monitor the trials, as it was the case with the prominent human rights defender, Nabeel Rajab, and the leader of Al Wefaq, Khalil Al Marzouq. Such people can’t be pinned by arbitrary charges as terrorism; the charge used by the regime as a cover for its other trials.
Of course, the cases in focus can’t commit severe legal breaches as those happening in the neglected ones. Thus, arbitrating cases in focus need cunning and fake professional skills. Al Zayed has all the needed cunning, so the cases in focus are usually assigned to him.
Al Zayed’s cunning in trying Rajab
While trying the prominent human rights activist, Nabeel Rajab, Al Zayed used his cunning in front of the activists who came from around the world to attend the trial. Although Al Zayed refused to set Rajab free to participate in his mother’s funeral, the former condoled Rajab with his sorrows and repeated “Nabeel what do you want to say? Speak out I want to listen to you?” Before spelling out his judgment, Al Zayed repeated, trying to absolve himself, that he is a friend of Rajab’s family.
In his turn, Nabeel confirmed in a comment about the sentence issued against him that “the sentence was written by the Minister of Justice, personally, and that the grounds of the judgment which Al Zayed depended on were the same as the minister’s style”. However, Al Zayed affirmed that “he enjoys a strong relation with the Minister of Justice who he used to work with”.
Meanwhile, Soumaya, Rajab’s wife, said that Al Zayed called Nabeel for his office in the court few minutes before issuing his sentence in order to absolve himself in front of Rajab. “The judge Ebrahim Al Zayed knew that he was going to issue an unjust sentence, thus he tried to pronounce himself free of guilt at his office repeating that he is a friend of Rajab’s family”.
Al Zayed’s cunning in trying Al Marzouq
Al Zayed also allowed Al Wefaq leader, Khalil Al Marzouq, to deliver his statement in the court through which he explained how he was arrested and how he was called to the police station and the public prosecution. The judge, furthermore, allowed Al Marzouq to talk in the presence of the international audience and describe the public prosecution as “biased”. However, when Al Marzouq said, “If I were to judge, I would have closed the case and turned to a real political solution in order to find out a solution for the country’s crisis instead of deepening it”. Trying to appear innocent, Al Zayed replied, “no one decides to close a case except the three of us sitting on this platform. No one can interfere. The king only can forgive you. The jurisdiction and I are to decide where to move this case”. At the end of the court session, Al Zayed set Al Marzouq free under the condition of ensuring his residence. This was a sign through which a number of lawyers understood that a political decision was made to absolve Al Marzouq.
Although Al Marzouq spoke about the biased public prosecution and did not mention the justice system in his comments, Al Zayed found it necessary to absolve himself along with the jurisdiction in front of the audience and activists: “Be sure that our decisions are independent. We, the three of us, only take the decisions. If there were any one to interfere in my decision, I would have certainly resigned for I don’t accept any interference”.
The honest and independent judge does not need to declare himself innocent before issuing any verdict. He neither needs to confirm his absolving in the court room. The judge, however, has to be honest with himself, for the court room is a place where judges absolve the grieved and not themselves.
التعليقات المنشورة لا تعبر بالضرورة عن رأي الموقع
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