A POLICEMAN has been jailed for five years for shooting an anti-government protester with a birdshot during last year's unrest.
The 27-year-old Bahraini was tried in absentia at the High Criminal Court as he is receiving treatment in a Bahrain hospital after being seriously injured in a bomb blast last month.
He was yesterday convicted of assault after shooting a Bahraini man in the leg during an illegal rally last year.
It is the highest sentence handed out to a policeman to date in connection with the unrest.
Defence lawyer Marwa Al Ansari had argued that her client fired two warning shots, one of which accidentally hit the victim's right leg during an illegal gathering.
The defendant was supposed to show up in court for the first hearing on April 27, but was injured three days earlier during an explosion in Duraz, which also injured two of his colleagues.
The officers were escorting Civil Defence vehicles that were responding to a fire in a shop in the village when the bomb went off.
Ms Al Ansari said she would lodge an appeal against the conviction.
"My client is currently receiving treatment in Bahrain after returning from France for severe injuries in his legs, which nearly had to be amputated," she added.