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Mon 11 Jan 2016 02:08 PM

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Bahrain seeks maximum sentence for opposition leader

Ebrahim Sharif is charged with encouraging supporters to use violence against security personnel

Bahrain seeks maximum sentence for opposition leader
Ibrahim Sharif, chief of the Waed secular group. (Getty Images)

Bahraini prosecutors are seeking the maximum punishment for an opposition leader charged with encouraging supporters to use violence against security personnel.

Gulf Daily News reports that former National Democratic Action Society (Wa’ad) secretary-general, Ebrahim Sharif, is also charged with calling for the overthrow of the government and inciting hatred.

According to his lawyer, Abduljalil Al Aradi, the charges against Sharif carry a maximum sentence of 13 years if he is found guilty.

Ahmed Al Qurashi, representing the Public Prosecution, said urge the High Criminal Court to hand down the maximum punishment.

“The country’s stability and security is a goal which we all desire and thus will guarantee the well-being of residents and citizens,” said Mr Al Qurashi.

“What the defendant said, clearly, in his speeches is calling to overthrow the government and spread hatred against the regime by causing havoc in the country.”

Mr Sharif, who has pleaded not guilty to all charges, told the court, “It seems the Public Prosecution misunderstood the phrases ‘ruling system’, the ‘political system’, ‘government’ and ‘executive system’. In my speech I mentioned ‘the government’ 37 times and used the word ‘system’ twice, meaning the government. I never mentioned constitutional change or calling to forcibly change, therefore the charge is not true.”

His trial was adjourned yesterday until February 24 for a verdict.