TWENTY witnesses yesterday gave evidence in four cases, involving the alleged kidnapping of policemen during the unrest, in marathon hearings that lasted up to seven and a halfhours.
Families of the defendants and men convicted of crimes connected to anti-government violence testified at the Supreme Criminal Appeals Court.
Many claimed to have seen the accused being mistreated in custody, while relatives said they had been with them at the time of the crimes. The cases include nine Bahrainis who are fighting 20-year jail sentences after being convicted of abducting and torturing a policeman.
The Pakistani victim was on his way to work when his vehicle was ambushed by attackers, armed with sickles, metal rods and wooden planks on March 14 last year in Saraya 2 in Saar, according to prosecutors.
He was reportedly attacked, held at a house and then taken to the former GCC (Pearl) roundabout where he was paraded on a stage for protesters before being attacked again. Another case involves three Bahrainis, each jailed for 10 years for allegedly kidnapping an officer, locking him in a bird cage and torturing him in a farm in Sanabis.
The court earlier heard the policeman needed counselling after his ordeal and the doctor who treated him said he suffered bouts of crying, sleep disorders, depression and anxiety. The suspects include a clergyman who has been jailed for 96 years in connection with several cases connected to the unrest. Seven men, earlier jailed for a combined total of 105 years, have also appealed against their sentences for the abduction of a policeman.
It is claimed the victim was allegedly held captive in an abandoned building and at the home of two of the defendants in Bilad Al Qadeem. The officer eventually escaped through the window of the room where he was being held and down a drainpipe.
Each hearing was adjourned to Tuesday. Meanwhile, the case of a Pakistani civilian, who was followed home and had part of his tongue cut, was also adjourned to Saturday for prosecution witnesses to testify. Victim Irfan Ahmad Baksh Muhammad has been receiving treatment at the BDF Hospital for 16 months and was earlier declared unfit to give evidence by judges.
He suffered severe head injuries when a gang confronted him in March last year during a campaign of violence waged against the Asian community by anti-government protesters. Seven men have appealed the 15-year jail sentences for ambushing him, alongside two others locked up for 10 years and another for four years.
They allegedly attacked him with metal rods and wooden planks before severing the part-time prayer caller's tongue. email@example.com