FIFTEEN defence witnesses took to the stand in the appeal of 96 university students and staff, jailed for up to 12 months in connection with attacks on Bahrain University.
The defendants' relatives, students and teachers yesterday provided alibis and claimed the accused had been with them at the time of the crime.
"He (one of the suspects) works with me at Al Areen wildlife park. We were working together at the time the university was attacked," said a witness.
Another man said his son had not gone to university because there was too much traffic on the roads.
A detective earlier claimed a mob of anti-government protesters were behind the planned attacks on Bahrain University during the height of last year's unrest.
He told the High Criminal Appeals Court that investigations revealed the demonstrators, who rallied at the former GCC (Pearl) roundabout, had planned the attack on students at the university's Sakhir campus.
The defendants were convicted of taking part in an illegal gathering and inciting hatred against the regime and some were also jailed for assault, destroying university property and possessing weapons.
The Lower Criminal Court passed down sentences ranging from six months to a year in jail and 10 of them were also fined a total of BD7,500.
Another 22 suspects were acquitted of all charges.
But those convicted lodged an appeal and judges have released them from custody on BD500 bail.
The university clashes on March 13 last year coincided with a general deterioration of security across the country and clashes between police and protesters outside the Bahrain Financial Harbour.
The appeal was adjourned to Thursday for the remaining witnesses to be summoned.